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Hawai‘i Leadership Forum Welcomes Sixteen Leaders to Omidyar Fellows Program
May 16, 2024
Graphic Omidyar Fellows Cohort IX Members

Omidyar Fellows Cohort IX

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i Leadership Forum (HLF) welcomed 16 local leaders into the ninth cohort of its Omidyar Fellows program. The program seeks to cultivate the conditions in which Hawai‘i thrives by equipping leaders with the skills and cross-sector relationships necessary to affect societal change.

Following a rigorous application process, these individuals were selected from the for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors based on their accomplishments, innovative skills, ability to collaborate with other leaders, and motivation to make a positive difference.

“We are excited to bring back this unique opportunity for emerging leaders to engage in impactful discussions, learn from one another, and help make Hawai‘i even better,” said AJ Halagao, president of Hawai‘i Leadership Forum. “We strive to develop, engage, and inspire leaders to drive impact and catalyze positive change.”

This year’s cohort includes:

  • Ed Barnabas, Vice President and CTO, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Katie Bennett, Founder and Lead Mediator, Family Mediation Hawai‘i
  • Kainoa Casco, Climate + Resiliency Executive, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Amanda Corby Noguchi, President and CEO, Under My Umbrella, Inc.
  • Yunji de Nies, Journalist, Hawai‘i News Now & PBS Hawai‘i
  • Chris Dods, Vice Chairman and COO, First Hawaiian Bank
  • Stacy Ferreira, CEO, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
  • Emily Fukunaga, Vice President, Servco Parts Center, Servco Pacific
  • Vicky Hanes, COO, Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center
  • Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni, President and CEO, Partners in Development Foundation
  • David Kopper, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
  • Richard Matsui, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy – Loan Programs Office
  • Kaulana Mossman, Community Planning Liaison Officer, Department of Defense Pacific Missile Range Facility
  • Sabrina Nasir, Deputy Director, Hawai‘i Department of Budget and Finance
  • Landon Opunui, Executive Director and Medical Director, Nā Puʻuwai
  • Laura Reichhardt, Director, Hawai‘i State Center for Nursing

View their biographies >>

Cohort IX members will undergo nine months of curriculum beginning September 2024, which includes monthly sessions; coaching; conversations with community, business, and government leaders; and more. At the end of the curriculum phase, Cohort IX will join the active Fellows Network comprised of 115 Fellows from Cohorts I through VIII.

Bill Coy has directed every Omidyar Fellows cohort since 2012. At the conclusion of Cohort IX, Coy will step down from his role in June 2025.

“I am so proud of what the Omidyar Fellows has accomplished,” said Coy. “We see leadership as an activity, not a role, and I am confident that each Fellow will continue to utilize their strong networks and skillsets to create a stronger Hawai‘i. These are some of the finest leaders I have had the privilege to work with.” 

Cheryl Ka‘uhane Lupenui will co-facilitate Cohort IX and will lead the next cohort. Lupenui is the principal and founder of the leader project and will continue to serve as president and CEO of the Kohala Center.

“As an Omidyar Fellow myself and having been a member of Cohort II, I came away transformed by this program,” said Halagao. "We have all learned so much from Bill. We are forever grateful to Bill for his vision, innovation, mentorship, and leadership. And I’m thrilled that Cheryl will be joining our team to help us navigate a new path forward.”

About Hawai‘i Leadership Forum

The Hawai‘i Leadership Forum (HLF) is dedicated to broad and durable improvements across Hawaiʻi. A part of The Omidyar Group, HLF receives funding from the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Learn more at

About Omidyar Fellows

HLF’s cornerstone program, Omidyar Fellows, seeks to enhance connections among leaders and improve their capabilities and desires to mobilize communities and organizations to pursue durable change. Omidyar Fellows believes that effective leadership is essential to developing a community of engaged citizens and creating a more resilient Hawaiʻi. Leaders help make sense of our current reality, provide a vision for what is possible, build relationships, and address complex problems. The Omidyar Fellows program is dedicated to making positive movement on Hawai‘i’s most pressing issues. For more information, visit

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