Categorized | Business

OHA hires Big Isle native as Washington bureau chief


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announces it has hired Kawika Riley, a former spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration, as its new Washington D.C. bureau chief.

Riley has previous experience with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

He was hired to help significantly bolster OHA’s ongoing efforts to improve federal law and policy in a way that advances positive systemic change for Native Hawaiians and Hawaii.

“Kawika is a native son of Kealakehe whose impressive legislative and public policy background will enhance our ability to put the concerns of the Hawaiian community front and center on the agendas of federal policymakers,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer Kamanaopono Crabbe.

“We look forward to Kawika making a meaningful contribution to our national efforts to empower Hawaiians and strengthen Hawaii,” he said.

Before working in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, Riley was OHA’s first Washington D.C. Fellow while attending the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Riley teaches courses for the school’s Native American Political Leadership Program. He was born and raised on Hawaii Island and graduated from Kealakehe High School.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawaii State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians, with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawaii.

OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation.

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