Former Magazine Editor Named Community Planning Director for WCIT Architecture

Mālia Kaʻaihue, Ph.D
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Mālia Kaʻaihue, Ph.D

WCIT ARCHITECTURE announces Mālia Kaʻaihue, Ph.D., as its new Director of Community Planning. Kaʻaihue comes to WCIT ARCHITECTURE from Pacific Basin Communications where she was the Editor of MANA Magazine. Kaʻaihue previously served as the Chief Knowledge Officer at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Kaʻaihue is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi [UH] where she earned a BA in both Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and an MA in Political Science. Kaʻaihue was a ʻŌiwi Doctoral Fellow and completed a Ph.D. in Political Science specializing in Indigenous Politics. Following her graduation she spent eight years teaching at several UH campuses and served as the Director of Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education at Leeward Community College.


Kaʻaihue serves on several non-profits, the Board of Directors for Nā Kama Kai, a non-profit organization focused on ocean awareness and education, and Nā Leo Kakoʻo, a non-profit organization in support of Hawaiian Language Immersion education at Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue. She also is a member of Hālau Kupukupu ke Aloha.

Kaʻaihueʻs work at the firm will continue to capitalize on WCIT ARCHITECTUREʻs strength and expertise in developing and executing strategic methods to create planning and architecture solutions that function well, are environmentally sensitive, culturally appropriate, and add value to the communities served.

Kaʻaihueʻs strategic approach has and will continue to provide significant contributions to several WCIT ARCHITECTURE projects including the Turtle Bay Resort Master Plan, Ward Villages Cultural Master Plan and Hanalei Plantation Resort Master Plan/Guiding Principles, to name a few.

Rob Iopa, the firm’s president, states, “Mālia’s work will not take a ‘business-as-usual’  approach. Her expertise in Hawaiian history, politics and language combined with her experience in government, community and business relations will provide critical thought around deploying cultural and community assets to solve Hawaiʻi’s unique contemporary planning challenges.”

WCIT ARCHITECTURE is an award-winning design firm of internationally trained architects, planners and interior designers. Founded in 2000, WCIT ARCHITECTURE has become Hawaiʻi’s leading design consultant specializing in community-based design and development.






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