Leadership

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Karen Lee, Ed.D., Executive Director, Hawai‘i P-20

As executive director, Karen Lee is responsible for supporting the Hawai‘i P-20 Council and overseeing Hawai‘i P-20 programs. P-20’s major programs include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded Hawai‘i P-3 Initiative, which promotes partnerships within the early learning community to strengthen the continuum of early learning experiences for children, and programs such as GEAR UP and Step Up, designed to increase student readiness for post-high school success. She also guides the inter-agency team responsible for the design of a statewide longitudinal data system to inform policy- and decision-making for the improvement of educational outcomes in Hawai‘i.

Lee served as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Hawai‘i System since 2006. In that role, she was responsible for UH system-wide student affairs policies and student-related initiatives, such as financial aid policies, the Regents and Presidential Scholarship program, system-wide scholarships, student residency status related to tuition, and registration policies. She collaborated closely with the chief student affairs officers on each UH campus, and served as the advisor to the UH Student Caucus, an advisory body of students from each of the UH campuses.

Lee has served as Executive Assistant to the UH president and as Undergraduate Coordinator of the Office of Student Academic Services at the UH Manoa Shidler College of Business. She has also been Assistant Dean of Students and Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Columbia University (NY), and Assistant Director of Admission at Colgate University (NY).

Lee holds a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree in higher education administration and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Columbia University.

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Georgenne Weisenfeld, Ed.D., Director, Executive Office of Early Learning

GG Weisenfeld has worked in the field of early childhood for over 25 years in New York, Maryland, and Hawai‘i. Prior to working in the Executive Office on Early Learning, she was the P-3 Director of Early Learning for Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education and worked with the Quality Care Program (QCP) partners in developing Hawaii’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from New York University; a Master’s Degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College; and a Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership and Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Weisenfeld has worked in the field of early childhood as a classroom teacher; a Head Start and Early Head Start Director and program reviewer; a museum educator; a grant writer and fund raiser for Maryland public schools; a board member for both local government and private foundation boards; an admissions director and early childhood coordinator in private schools; and a Professor at the City University of New York, New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Kathryn MatayoshiSuperintendent, Hawai‘i State Department of Education

Kathryn Matayoshi was appointed by the Hawai‘i State Board of Education as superintendent of the Department of Education in September 2010. Prior to her appointment, she served as acting and interim superintendent and deputy superintendent since 2009. Matayoshi is an attorney and former state director with expertise in public policy and strategic planning and has played an integral role in transforming and streamlining the Department’s systems and operations.

Matayoshi comes to the DOE following a successful career in private, government and nonprofit sectors. She served as the executive director of the Hawai‘i Business Roundtable, president and chief executive officer of Community Links Hawai‘i, chief of staff for the City & County of Honolulu Board of Water Supply and director of the State Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. She also owned a strategic planning consultancy and held positions at Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel and served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Samuel P. King.

Matayoshi currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Aloha United Way and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. She is also a charter member of the Hawai‘i P-20 Council.

An alumni of Hilo High School, Matayoshi holds a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College.

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David Lassner
President, University of Hawai‘i System

As the University of Hawaii’s first VP for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Lassner was responsible for supporting academic and administrative computing; distributed learning technologies; and voice, data, and video telecommunication. He directed Information Technology Services, which provides technology support to the UH Mānoa campus and addresses statewide needs of the university system.

Since joining the University of Hawai‘i in 1977, Lassner has held a series of progressively more responsible technical, management and executive positions supporting the broad use of information technologies across the full mission of the university throughout the State. He is a member of UH Mānoa’s cooperating graduate faculty and has taught online and in person in the Department of Information and Computer Science, College of Business, School of Communication and College of Education. Lassner has also served on the faculty of management institutes for IT leaders nationally and internationally.

Lassner plays an active leadership role in a number of local, national and international organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Kuali Foundation and EDUCAUSE. Lassner is a past chair of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), and has also served on the board of Internet2 and coordinated a variety of education projects for the Internet Society internationally. Locally, he has served on the Boards of Hawai‘i Public Television, the Hawai‘i High Technology Development Corporation where he chaired the Federal Relations Committee, and he chaired the Hawai‘i Broadband Task Force. Lassner was recently reappointed by the Senate President to the State of Hawai‘i Information Technology Steerint Committee. Lassner has been recognized by WCET with the Richard Jonsen Award and by Internet 2 with the Richard Rose Award.

Lassner holds an AB summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in economics and a MS in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawai‘i.