Presidential Search Enters Listening Phase

Punahou Communications Staff

October 18, 2017

As one of their most important responsibilities, the Board of Trustees has begun the process of appointing the next president of Punahou School. The board elected a Presidential Search Committee in June and selected Spencer Stuart to support Punahou’s presidential search.

In May, President Jim Scott ’70 informed the Board of Trustees and the Punahou community of his intention to retire at the end of the 2018 – 2019 school year, his 25th year as president. “With two years to plan for our leadership transition, President Scott has given us the time to reflect upon where we are today, engage our community for input, thoroughly review candidates, and thoughtfully select our new president,” said Punahou Trustee Mark Fukunaga ’74, chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “As we now move into the listening phase of our process, we count on participation. Participation is critical to helping us frame both the position specification and the qualifications we should look for in the next president of Punahou.”

This month, representatives from Spencer Stuart visited Honolulu to meet with the Punahou community including faculty, staff, parents, alumni, students, administrative leaders and trustees in a series of individual, small group and large group meetings. They sought answers to questions regarding the aspirations for Punahou and what qualities, skills and experiences people would like to see in the next president. In addition, 13 listening sessions are being held on the continental U.S. and internationally.

“Reflecting on and describing what is important about Punahou was a good exercise for us all,” shared Academy Dean Christine David, who has worked at the School for 26 years. “There were many points of view present at the meetings. Spencer Stuart will get a feel for what makes Punahou so special and what kind of person could lead Punahou forward,” she said, also commenting how the group sessions allowed participants to play off each other’s ideas. She was happy to contribute to the process.

The entire Committee will be working in the overall best interest of the School as opposed to that of any particular segment. “This is an extraordinarily exciting time in Punahou’s rich history,” said Trustee Debbie Berger ’82, vice chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “It is our intention to make this process as inclusive as possible. We look forward to hearing the Punahou community’s thoughts as we search for a new leader to further build upon the strengths of this exceptional institution.”

Track the progress on Punahou’s Presidential Search webpage or email