Kamana‘opono Crabbe, the CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, announced Wednesday that he will step down at the end of June.

Crabbe made his announcement at an OHA Board of Trustees meeting in Honolulu.

In a statement, Crabbe said, “I am incredibly proud of my accomplishments at OHA, from returning the mana of Kalaniōpu‘u’s ʻahu‘ula and mahiole to Hawai‘i; to the naming of OHA as a co-trustee of Papahānaumokuākea; to elevating OHA as a repository of Native Hawaiian knowledge, data and research through our online databases and research reports. It has been a great voyage and I enjoyed every minute of sailing with all of you.”

He continued: “As Ka Pouhana, I ask the OHA staff to kūlike, e alu mai, a ‘onipa‘a ē: to stand beside one another as a source of strength and pride, to cooperatively work together as a true ‘ohana should, and to remain steadfast despite the winds of change, remain forever resilient and staunch for each other, in spite of each other.”

OHA Ka Pouhana Kamanaopono Crabbe speaks during press conference on recent assault at OHA.
OHA CEO Kamana’opono Crabbe during a press conference in January. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

OHA Chair Colette Machado said in a statement, “I want to take this opportunity to extend a warm and heart-felt mahalo to Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe for his leadership and commitment to serving our people and the mission of the agency since becoming the Chief Executive Officer of OHA in 2012. During his tenure, he has had many notable achievements, including further instilling Hawaiian culture into the operations of the office, and strengthening OHA’s relationships with the community and our partner organizations, while providing steady guidance to our Administration.”

Crabbe’s current contract was set to expire at the end of this month. The Board of Trustees has authorized procurement of a consultant to assist in an executive search and recruitment of a new CEO.

Crabbe, who was named CEO in March 2012, has led OHA through challenging times, including a state audit last year that found the quasi-governmental agency had misspent millions of dollars.

His tenure coincided with a protracted power struggle among trustees, some of who backed Crabbe and others who wanted him ousted.

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