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Dec 07, 2015

QLT forms Evaluation, Strategic Planning & Research Team

HONOLULU, December 4, 2015 – Queen Liliuokalani Trust has created a team of six associates to strenghten evaluation and collaboration initiatives, according to Robert H. Ozaki, president and chief executive officer, as part of the Trust’s larger plan to enhance outcomes for its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Joining the Trust to form the team are Katherine A. Tibbetts as director of evaluation, Summer Keliʻipio as strategic initiatives manager, and Kuʻulani Keohokalole as research manager; promoted from within the Trust to the team are Pālama Lee, strategic planning manager, and Leialoha Benson and Shelly Tokunaga-May, both of whom will serve as evaluation managers.

Dr. Katherine Tibbetts joins the Trust following a 30-year career at Kamehameha Schools, where she developed and implemented multi-year evaluation and research programs, evaluated small and large-scale projects, and mentored scores of early- and mid-level career research and evaluation professionals.  She is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  She received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Summer Keliʻipio has been hired to serve as strategic initiatives manager.  A research analyst and project manager at Kamehameha Schools, she brings skills in designing and implementing human serving programs, engaging diverse stakeholders, and directing resources toward enhancing community well being.  Summer will take the point on collaborations and partnerships.  She graduated with honors from both ʻIolani School and Pitzer College.  She holds a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Kuʻulani Keohokalole joins the Trust as research manager.  She brings a strong background in research, community engagement and grant writing. She has served as research and development director at the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture, program director at Good Beginnings Alliance, and as a project analyst for Kamehameha Schools.  She is a graduate of Castle High School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.

Dr. Pālama Lee has been promoted to strategic planning manager.  In his new role, Dr. Lee works with evaluation, outreach and research associates to help shape future planning efforts.  He joined the Trust in 2011 as a systems facilitator with the Children’s Center.  He previously oversaw one of three strategies to improve the health of Native Hawaiians at Papa Ola Lōkahi, and designed and implemented outpatient behavioral health programs for adults along the Waianae Coast at Hale Naʻau Pono.  He holds a social science degree from San Francisco State University, and an M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Leialoha Benson, evaluation manager, began with the Trust in 2006 as a social worker at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center at Koʻolau Poko.  Most recently she served as an assistant unit manager at the Windward Children’s Center, before being promoted to her new position as evaluation manager.  Prior to the Trust, Leialoha was a youth program specialist in Reno, Nevada and a program facilitator for Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii.  She is a graduate of Kahuku High School and Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi, received her M.S.W. at Eastern Washington University, and is a doctor of education candidate at the University of Southern California.

Shelly Tokunaga-May joined the Children’s Center at Koʻolau Poko in 2002 as a social worker and then served as its assistant unit manager, before being promoted to evaluation manager at the Trust.  She accumulated experience in both case management and group projects, and coordinated QLCC services for the island of Lānaʻi.  She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and Point Loma Nazarene University.  She received her M.S.W. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California.

About Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust

The Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust was established by Hawaiʻi’s last ruling monarch, the beloved Queen Lili‘uokalani.  Her Deed of Trust, executed in 1909, directs that the Queen’s lands be utilized to serve and provide for orphan and destitute children in perpetuity.  The core Trust assets include some 6,400 acres of land, the majority in Kona.  Outreach to beneficiaries is delivered through the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, established in 1933, and through collaborative partnerships with additional community organizations.


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