ʻOlu Campbell named new president, CEO of Hawaiʻi Land Trust
The nonprofit Hawai‘i Land Trust has named ‘Olu Campbell as president and CEO. He takes the reigns from Laura Kaakua, who is now serving as the governor’s nominee for the Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Campbell has worked in various capacities in the public and private sectors in areas that include conservation, community empowerment, education, Native Hawaiian rights, food systems, climate change, housing and development, law and business.
Since 2018, he has served as the community and government relations manager for Kamehameha Schools, where he worked to address systemic issues through advocacy and capacity building among Native Hawaiian organizations.
He previously was a legacy lands specialist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, where he conducted community-driven land-use planning and stewardship for about 26,000 acres of culturally and ecologically significant lands.
“Our ʻāina is the foundation from which our people thrive,” Campbell said. “I look forward to serving Hawai‘i as HILT’s president and CEO as we work to protect and steward significant places, and provide Native Hawaiian culture-based educational programming for our communities.”
Campbell earned his Juris Doctor with an Environmental Law and Native Hawaiian Law Certificate from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and his bachelor’s degree in biology with a Hawaiian Language Certificate from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
He currently serves on the Honolulu Economic Revitalization Commission and recently concluded his term as a member of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Forest Stewardship Committee.
He was the co-chair of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association’s Environment, Energy and Resources Section, and second vice president of the O‘ahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Campbell, who was born and raised in Hawai‘i, is also an active waterman and musician.
“’Olu’s background in land-use planning and stewardship, as well as his work as a change agent for communities throughout the state, will strengthen HILT’s mission to build a more equitable and sustainable future for Hawai‘i that focuses on ʻāina protection and the legacy we leave future generations,” said Lisa Grove, board chair of the Hawaiʻi Land Trust.
Kaakua, who previously led the Hawaiʻi Land Trust, said: “I have complete confidence in ‘Olu to lead Hawai‘i Land Trust in service of the land and communities throughout our islands. It is a time of transition throughout Hawai’i. ‘Olu will bring his legal acumen, diverse networks, and passion for ‘āina to protect, steward and connect people to the lands that sustain Hawai’i.”
Over the past decade, the nationally accredited land trust has protected more than 21,700 acres across the islands through land purchases and conservation easements, protecting Hawai‘i’s coastlines, cultural landscapes and lands that grow food. For more, visit HILT.org.