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Our Board of Directors & Staff

A collective of individuals dedicated to aloha ʻāina in different ways through their various professional and personal capacities, from indigenous education, kanaka maoli sovereignty, land stewardship, and law.

The Pōhāhā I Ka Lani Board of Directors serves to guide the mission and vision of the organization through consensus based decision making. Each board member brings valuable experience and manaʻo to cultivate the essence of Pōhāhā I Ka Lani.


Kū Kahakalau, Ph.D


Kū Kahakalau is one of the foremost leaders in Hawaiian language and education, with a Ph.D in Indigenous Education. A leader in the Hawaiian education movement, founder of a Hawaiian culture based charter school, designer of Basic Hawaiian online language program, and cultural advocate, Kū brings a wealth knowledge and experience.

Kū currently is the Executive Director of Kū-a-Kanaka LLC, a Native Hawaiian social enterprise located on Hawai'i Island, with a commitment to revitalize and normalize the use of Hawaiian among Native Hawaiians.


Drew Kapp

Board Member

Drew Kapp blends his background in geography with his involvement in Hawaiian culture and place based knowledge.


Drew currently is a lecturer in Geography at the University of Hawai'i  at Hilo and Hawai‘i CC, along with being a student in the Hawai‘i Lifestyles program at Hawai‘i CC. Drew holds a Masters in Geography and his courses focus on the relationship between people, place, culture and environment, in Hawai‘i and the world. 


Jesse Keone Potter

President / Volunteer Executive Director

President Jesse Keone Potter humbly serves to guide Pōhāhā I Ka Lani with a passion for ʻāina stewardship & education, , with a vision and drive to improve the organization capabilities to serve it's mission. Jesse's educational background includes bachelors degrees in Tropical Horticulture and Communications As President & Volunteer Executive Director, Jesse facilitates the organizational and program functions, from grants to site & group work. Jesse currently works as a biology teacher and advisor at Kamehameha Schools Hawaii High School.

Jesse Self.jpg

Dave Sansone

Vice President

Experienced and trustworthy, Dave Sansone has extensive experience in land stewardship with his background in agroforestry & permaculture, along with educational background and experience in Public Relations.

Dave currently works as the Agriculture Production Specialist at The Kohala Center, managing their Honokaʻa Demonstration Farm, the Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program, and the High School Agriculture Internship Program.


Hans Keoni Wilhelm, Ph.D


Keoni brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the board in the area of Native Hawaiian law and education. He currently is a kumu of Hawaiian Culture, Language, and History at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus. Keoni's holds a Jurist Doctorate c/0 2016 Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law, a E.d.D in Educational Leadership K-12, focusing on School Violence among Native Hawaiians and Reporting Behavior, and a M.Ed. in Education Administration.



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