Veteran Hawaii broadcast journalist Paula Akana is leaving KITV Island News to become the executive director of Iolani Palace.
The Friends of Iolani Palace announced today that its board of directors chose Akana for the position, which will begin July 8.
“As a well-respected journalist and community leader, Paula brings with her a deep love of Hawaii, our history, and our culture, and will be instrumental in helping us continue to promote our mission and share the stories of our monarchy and the palace, here in Hawaii and around the world,” said Lissa Guild Eveleth, president of the Board of Directors, in a news release.
Akana has over 30 years of experience in communications and leadership, and has covered a variety of stories about Iolani Palace while working at KITV, according to the organization.
“I am humbled and honored to be asked to help lead the Friends of Iolani Palace,” Akana said in the news release. “The palace has always held a special place in my heart. I want to mahalo KITV for allowing me to share stories of the palace and our Hawaiian culture for the past 35 years.”
Akana graduated from Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she earned a bachelor’s degree journalism and a minor in Hawaiian anthropology and archaeology, and is involved with a number of local organizations including YMCA Metro Honolulu, Mao Farms, Hawaiian Civil Club of Honolulu and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, according to the Friends of Iolani Palace.
Kippen de Alba Chu, the palace’s former executive director, left the position in January after 12 years.