Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham began serving as University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu chancellor on January 1, 2017. A kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and teacher, Benham previously served as the inaugural dean of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa (2008-2016).
A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Benham began her teaching career in 1978 teaching grades K–12 in California, Texas and Hawaiʻi (Kaiser High School and Kamehameha Schools). She earned her doctoral degree from UH Mānoa in 1992 and joined the College of Education faculty at Michigan State University in 1993. Among her notable accomplishments, Benham was the lead author of the White House Paper on the Tribal Colleges and Universities a Trust Responsibility (2004) submitted to the U.S. President’s Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities. She is author, co-author, editor of 5 books and numerous published articles, book chapters and technical reports.
Benham’s work on alternative frames of leadership and issues of education is nationally and internationally respected. She has been an invited speaker and presenter in Europe and South East Asia and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. She covers a range of topics from program planning and assessment/evaluation, school change, leadership development, building school-community partnerships and professional ethics.
Benham is dedicated to school/university in community and community in school/university, working extensively with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on youth, education, and community collective leadership initiatives, which included their national initiatives: Native American Higher Education Initiative, Kellogg Leadership for Collective Change, and Collective Leadership for Engaged Communities. She has served on community boards that included the Waiʻanae Community Redevelopment Corp./MAʻO and the Kohala Center. She currently sits on the Mānoa Heritage Center and Kualiʻi Foundation, The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, the Queen’s Health Systems and Queen’s Medical Center, the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, Awaiaulu, and the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation.
Maenette Benham is married to Robert Benham and has 2 children, Kaʻimi and Kiana.
Office Contact Information:
91-1001 Farrington Highway
Kapolei, HI 96707
Telephone: (808) 689-2770
Fax: (808) 689-2771