Dr. Jamee Māhealani Miller named next Executive Director of Hoʻōla Nā Pua
Ho’ōla Nā Pua CEO & Founder, Jessica Muñoz to transition into her founder role and focus on national advocacy Miller will focus the six-month transitionary period on seamless continuity of the nonprofit’s mission
HONOLULU – Ho’ola Na Pua (HNP) Board of Directors has named Dr. Jamee Māhealani Miller, Ph.D. as the organization’s next executive director. Dr. Miller succeeds HNP founder Jessica Muñoz, who has led the organization through a period of unprecedented progress in the prevention of child sex-trafficking, providing a progressive continuum of care for youth who have been exploited in Hawaiʻi and abroad. Muñoz will continue to serve as CEO through the transitional period.
“Ho’ōla Nā Pua’s remarkable journey has had historic regional and national impact; this is an exciting and expansive moment for the future of its mission,” said HNP Board Chairperson, Karen Polivka. “We placed a high priority on finding a leader that could both steward HNP’s legacy and sustain its bold vision for the future. The anti-trafficking movement requires incredible courage and resilience, and we know Dr. Jamee Miller will excel in this role.” As executive director, Dr. Miller will oversee development and operational leadership for HNP’s staff, expansive community programs including Pearl Haven, Hōkū Groups, Starfish Mentoring and Awareness, Education & Training, and overall execution of the nonprofit’s mission, which has boldly led in the anti-trafficking movement for more than 14 years.
Dr. Miller most recently served as the ʻĀina Ulu Director at Kamehameha Schools. During her tenure there, Dr. Miller oversaw a statewide team tasked with managing diverse land holdings, community partners, and programs. Having served in leadership roles at two ali’i trusts – Liliuokalani Trust and Kamehameha Schools – Dr. Miller has demonstrated a career commitment to serving the Native Hawaiian community, and to serving at-risk women and children. Her early-career experience as a social worker informed her perspectives on prevention and treatment substance abuse and child abuse, and her personal passion for the fair treatment and rehabilitation of incarcerated people.
“I’m inspired by Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s impressive track record and commitment to not only Native Hawaiian youth but to all youth and their families. I am honored to join the team,” says Dr. Miller. “Jessica has laid a solid foundation for me as HNPʻs new leader. I am thankful for her foresight and valor which birthed HNP to be a service provider of choice by delivering unprecedented programs of relevance to our keiki, ʻohana and community. I look forward to working closely with partners, volunteers, donors and the entire HNP team to lead this organization into its next phase of progression.”
Dr. Miller earned her doctorate in education with a focus on organizational leadership from the University of Southern California, after earning her undergraduate degree in Hawaiian Studies and a masterʻs degree in social work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Born and raised on Oʻahu, Dr. Miller and her ‘ohana currently reside in Punaluʻu. “I am truly humbled to see what started as a vision has become a thriving, effective and essential organization making true community and policy impact to end child-sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi. Every day I see our HNP staff, volunteers, partners and donors lean-in to ensure that our unique services are sustained for long-term care and life-changing results,” said Muñoz.
“This collective commitment allows me to take this progressive model of care to a national platform, and I am excited for this new season of advocacy with its heartbeat always in Hawaiʻi, where our mission began.” At the end of the leadership\ transition, Muñoz will continue to serve as a consultant to the organization and serve in her permanent founder seat on its board of directors.
During its 14-year history thus far, HNP has been a catalyst for exponential progress and leadership in its progressive vision, to ‘shine the light’ on the dark criminal enterprise of sex-trafficking. HNP’s work has led to statewide and national impact on the issue of child sex-trafficking and the need for a systemic shift and collective policy and programmatic response to victims who deserve and need sustainable, comprehensive care.
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About Ho’ōla Nā Pua: Hoʻōla Nā Pua (New Life for Our Children) was founded as a 501(c)3 to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaiʻi’s youth at the center of our mission and our vision for our community. We are committed to the prevention of child sex trafficking and providing care for children who have been exploited. Hoʻōla Nā Pua (HNP) is dedicated to creating a community where children are safe and can embrace their bright futures. Today, not only does HNP offer integrated programming that reaches thousands of youth, community members and stakeholders across the state of Hawaiʻi annually, but it is also considered a national partner and a rising standard in the global effort to stop sex trafficking, permanentl .
“Ho`ōla Nā Pua, meaning ‘New Life for Our Children,’ was founded to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community.”