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Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission Announces Dr. Ed H. Noh as Next Executive Director with support from KEES

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Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission (the commission) and Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES) are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ed H. Noh as the next executive director. With an extensive background in education leadership, including an Ed.D., Noh brings a wealth of experience in Hawaiʻi’s educational system. Serving thousands of children throughout the state, Hawaiʻi’s charter schools have been a source of innovation and community engagement in learning. Joining the commission in mid-February, Noh will sustain the progress made and help define the next decade of the commission. Leading the search efforts were President and CEO Heather Eddy, Executive Search Manager Yoo-Jin Hong, and Project Manager Megan Taylor of KEES.

Bringing 30+ years of professional experience and more than 16 years of executive leadership experience in the education sector, Noh has a proven track record of driving educational excellence in both public and charter school systems. His vision aligns seamlessly with the commission’s goals of fostering innovation and ensuring the highest education standards for students across the state.

“We are delighted to welcome Ed as the new executive director of the Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission,” said Dr. Cathy Ikeda, chairperson of the commission. “As a practitioner, parent, and administrative leader, his passion for education and proven leadership skills make him the ideal candidate to lead the commission forward. This role is the culmination of his career, and we look forward to working collaboratively with Ed to advocate for high quality education in Hawaiʻi’s public charter schools.”

Currently serving as Complex Area Superintendent at the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, Noh provides executive leadership to 16 schools that educate 7,400+ students and oversees a $73.8M budget across the Castle-Kahuku Complex Area. Focused on high expectations, equity, and cultural understanding, Noh has cultivated a shared vision of instructional excellence through the Academic and Financial Planning process, fostering professional development among principals and complex area leaders. Responsible for tracking school performance indicators, Noh collaborates with principals to set professional goals. In his prior position as executive director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Education Leadership Institute, Noh spearheaded initiatives such as a leadership pipeline, teacher innovation grants, and innovative teaching strategies during the pandemic. Additionally, as School Director of Kaʻōhao Public Charter School Noh achieved top-tier elementary school rankings, annual enrollment growth, and a balanced budget while introducing new classroom technologies. Noh holds a doctorate degree in Professional Educational Practice from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington.

Dr. Noh states, “I have always believed that charter schools fill an important need in the educational landscape of Hawaiʻi, and across the world, as the innovative arm of public education. ʻAha Kula Hoʻāmana resonates with me because charter schools in Hawaiʻi are taking education to a ʻhigher level’ and rather than approaching the commission solely as an ʻauthorizer’, I lean on Dr. Peter Hanohano’s translation of Hoʻāmana as ʻto empower.’ Charter schools exist ʻto empower our communities to create schools of excellence.’ The commission can, and will fulfill its legal and fiduciary responsibility as the authorizer, by empowering school leaders and their respective governing boards, supporting them in their pursuit to serve their students, staff, families, and communities as they live out their mission and vision. I am honored, humbled, and excited to be part of this next phase of growth.”

This announcement follows a nationwide search, for which the commission competitively selected KEES, a premier executive search firm. A comprehensive search was launched in the Fall of 2023. Noh was ultimately selected from a passionate, motivated, diverse, and talented pool of nearly 30 national finalists. The commission’s search efforts were led by Commission Chair Cathy Ikeda, Commissioners Makalapua Alencastre, Alex Harris, Matthew Kodama, Roger McKeague, and Carl Takamura. Noh is the first permanent executive director since 2020. Noh succeeds two successful Interim leaders. Yvonne Lau, who is now the executive administrator of the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents, and currently PJ Foehr who has been leading the commission since April 2023.

“Having served in the public and charter educational systems at the school, district, and state levels, Noh understands the charter system in Hawaiʻi from a truly unique perspective. Ed is a bridge builder and a catalyst,” said KEES President and CEO Heather Eddy. “Starting as a classroom teacher, his dedication to public education has been a consistent thread in his career, and it will undoubtedly be a valuable asset for the commission. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Noh as he assumes the role of executive director at the Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission. Congratulations to all!”

About the Partners

Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission (ʻAha Kula Hoʻāmana)

The State Public Charter School Commission is the State of Hawaiʻi’s statewide charter school authorizer. The mission is to authorize high-quality public charter schools throughout the state. The commission’s strategic vision for the chartering of these high-quality schools is that they provide excellent and diverse educational options for Hawaiʻi’s families, prepare students for future academic or career success, and contribute meaningfully to the continued improvement of Hawaiʻi’s public education system as a whole. The commission has responsibility for oversight of all 37 Hawaiʻi charter schools. For more information, visit


KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams with dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. A woman-owned-and-operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services, including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and human resources support. For more information, please visit

Focusing its partnerships on organizations propelling social change, KEES matches education-focused client partners with leaders who help grow and shape education and systems to impact students, families, communities, and economies. From early childhood education to general and independent schools, community colleges, and public universities, KEES values the role education plays in shaping society’s future leaders. KEES also partners with clients that provide valuable wrap-around services such as mentoring, tutoring, and other support to K-12 programming. Our collaboration with Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission adds to our growing portfolio of education and charter school partnerships.

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To schedule interviews regarding the KEES process, contact Jamie Sheffler.

Jamie Sheffler,


Meetings with Dr. Noh or Chair Ikeda can be arranged by emailing (

Sheryl Turbeville,