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Liliʻuokalani Trust Announces Leadership Succession on Board of Trustees

Liliʻuokalani Trust Announces Leadership Succession on Board of Trustees

Mahina Eleneki Hugo appointed as trustee, term to start in February 2023


HONOLULU (Sept. 27, 2022) --Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT) today announced the appointment of Mahina Eleneki Hugo to its Board of Trustees, succeeding Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr., who will retire effective February 1, 2023. The move is part of a planned leadership transition on the three-member Board of Trustees. She will be the 18th Trustee since the private operating foundationʻs inception in 1909.

Hugo has dedicated her career to educating, supporting, and advocating for Hawaiʻi youth. Currently she is the Executive Director of Youth Development at LT, where she leads a statewide team that delivers pathway programs for youth ages 6-18. 

During her time with the Trust, Hugo led a partnership with the Aspen Institute that resulted in the 2019 “Hawaiʻi State of Play” report, assessing the kamaliʻi (youth) sports landscape across the state, with a focus on Native Hawaiian youth. She also strengthened the relationship between LT and the University of Hawaiʻi Athletic Department, providing kamaliʻi the opportunity to work directly with college-level athletes, coaches, and mentors in various sports camps.

Her passion for sports has been lifelong. She was a key member of the University of Hawaiʻi’s legendary 1987 National Championship-winning volleyball team and was inducted into the University of Hawai’i Sports Circle of Honor. She was also named the Most Inspirational Player of the Year.

“Ms. Hugoʻs lifelong dedication to Hawaiiʻs youth will be an asset to the Board of Trustees” said Trustee Claire Asam.  “She has a compelling life story that will inspire our kamaliʻi and teammates alike. We look forward to continuing the Queenʻs legacy and to serving our most vulnerable Hawaiian youth.” 

Prior to joining the Trust, Hugo held multiple roles at La Pietra-Hawaiʻi School for Girls before taking on the role of Head of School, a position she held for ten years. 

Kaulukukui, Jr. will retire from the Board after nearly 25 years of commitment to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable Native Hawaiian children, including 15 years as Chair.  During his tenure from 1998 to 2022, assets tripled to over $1.2 billion. The rapid growth in mission spending enabled the ali’i trust to pursue its larger, systems-level goal of breaking the cycle of poverty for Native Hawaiians, a course it remains on today.

“Tom’s vision of a self-determined Trust led to transformative changes in endowment assets and mission goals, the effects of which will change the lives of Native Hawaiian youth for generations to come. We are indebted to him for his active service to the Queen and kamali’i” said Board Chair Robert H. Ozaki.