Dr. John “Keoni” Kauwe, dean of graduate studies at Brigham Young University in Utah, has been named as the next president of Brigham Young University-Hawaii, effective July 1.
Kauwe, who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease research, has deep roots in Hawaii and graduated from Molokai High School. His fourth great-grandfather, Kaleohano, was one of the first converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii.
Kauwe earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a master’s in population genetics from BYU and chaired its biology department before being named dean at the Provo campus. He completed a doctorate in evolution, ecology and population biology from Washington University in St. Louis and a postdoctoral fellowship in Alzheimer’s disease genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine.
Kauwe will succeed John S. Tanner who has been on the job since 2015 at the Laie campus, which has 3,200 students from more than 70 countries.
“I feel deeply connected to the history of sacrifice, faith, and prophetic direction associated with Laie and BYU-Hawaii,” Kauwe said. He and his wife, Monica, have five children.