Noelani Kalipi & Kaiu Kimura Named Omidyar Fellows

Richard Ha writes:

The Omidyar Fellows has announced its inaugural class of statewide Hawai‘i leaders -13 people chosen from more than 150 applicants -and two of them are members of our Big Island Community Coalition (BICC). Wow!

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Read about all the Fellows here.

Here’s how the program is described:

Hawaii’s future will be shaped by the ability of its leaders to meet the increasingly complex challenges facing our state. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a community of emerging executives and to equip them with the skills and relationships they’ll need to collectively transform Hawaii.

In the fall of 2012, a diverse group of talented local leaders will be convened as the first class of Omidyar Fellows.  Over a 15-month period, Fellows will participate in a rigorous program that’s designed to build stronger leaders, more effective organizations, and cross-sector connections that are necessary to collectively affect community change. Omidyar Fellows will cover all costs associated with the program for each participant. And while the investment is significant (estimated at over $50,000 per participant), so is the promise of a group of leaders with the skills and experience needed to help lead Hawaii into the future.

The program is just the beginning of a lifelong commitment by Omidyar Fellows to make a positive difference with the knowledge and network gained and to help subsequent generations of emerging leaders. The cumulative impact of this extraordinary learning opportunity has the promise to be a life changer for Omidyar Fellows and a game changer for the people of Hawaii.

I attended the kick-off reception, and after all the speaking, what I was left with is that the Omidyar Fellows are about the greater good. Though it wasn’t said in these exact words,what I took away was they would focus on the question “What about the rest?”

This is what we are doing in the BICC, too. It is so appropriate that Kumu Lehua, when we were in the early days of the Thirty Meter Telescope effort, asked me that exact question. I never forgot it.

I am involved because Noe asked me to be her sponsor, and that’s a big deal to me. These young leaders are really special people and to be associated with them is something else.

Noe is interesting in that she is completely comfortable and effective operating in various different worlds. She totally fits in around here, local style, and you’d never know she spent 15 years in Washington D.C., where she worked in Senator Akaka’s office. Yet when she’s in Washington, she is completely comfortable talking with people at the congressional level. And she’d never tell you that she was a lawyer in the Army Airborne corps and used to jump out of airplanes.

She’s an impressive person – organized, steady and very focused. She thinks big!

I recognize this leadership ability in both Noe and Ka‘iu. I’m really happy about this because I’m looking at the future and it’s obvious to me that they both have that kind of grounding, that “What about the rest of us?” This means the moral compass is
clear. The direction is clear. You know where they are all the time.

Congratulations, Noe and Ka’iu. You guys make us all proud.