Board of Directors

AHA Board of Directors


Nicolita Garces, President 2019-2020
Nicolita Marie “Nicki” Garces completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science in December 2013 from the University of Hawai‘i. She has a strong focus on indigenous and multicultural librarianship and archives and for nine years, has worked with Hawaiian, Pacific Islands, Hawai‘i Japanese, Hawai‘i Filipino and Asian collections. She obtained her DAS certificate in 2015 and became a certified archivist in 2016. Nicki is currently the information management officer at the Consuelo Foundation, an organization whose mission is to promote the wellbeing of at risk children, women and families in the Philippines and Hawaiʻi and to prevent and treat their abuse, neglect, and exploitation.


Leilani Dawson, President-Elect, 2019-2020
Leilani Dawson serves as the Manuscript Collections Archivist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library.  Leilani holds an MSI from the University of Michigan with dual specializations in Archives & Records Management and Library & Information Services, a certificate in Museum Studies (also from the University of Michigan), an MA in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist Certificate.  Past positions have included working as an archivist at the Brooklyn Historical Society and at the Bronx Zoo, as well as a stint volunteering at the Franklin Furnace Archives of performance art.


Mina Elison, Director 2018-2020
Mina Elison is the curator of Kona Historical Society and Principal at Kahiwa Cultural Heritage Consulting. Mina has worked as an oral historian on numerous projects across the state and has served as an archaeological consultant with several cultural heritage consulting firms; the Lead ‘Opio Program Specialist at Hui Malama O Ke Kai; as a Curatorial Assistant at multiple museums including The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Museum of Man in San Diego, and American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City. She has a BA in Anthropology and French and an MA in Museum Studies from NYU. She also completed the 2017 Western Archives Institute at Santa Clara University.

Jenny Leung, Director, 2019-2021
Jenny Leung is the Cultural Site Manager for the Mānoa Heritage Center, a site that consists of Kūkaʻōʻō Heiau, a garden of Native and Polynesian-introduced plants, and Kūaliʻi, an historic home with a collection of art and rare books. Her responsibilities include collections management of historical assets and living collections; public programming, communications and outreach; facilities operations; technology infrastructure; collaborating on community partnerships. She was previously the Collections Manager for Mānoa Heritage Center, and has worked as a Collections Assistant at the Honolulu Museum of Art. She holds a B.A. in English, an M.A. in American Studies, and a graduate certificate in Historic Preservation.

Kīna‘u McKeague, Director 2018-2020
Kīna‘u McKeague is a recent graduate from the LIS program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, with an undergraduate degree from Hawai‘inuiākea in Hawaiian studies. He served as chair of Nā Hawai‘i ‘Imi Loa hui haumāna & vice-president of the Society of American Archivists student chapter at UH Mānoa. Through these student groups he has supported the AHA annual meeting, the holiday social and collaborated on community archival workshops. Kīnaʻu is currently working with the Halekulani Hotel archives.

Allyson Ota, Director – Treasurer, 2019-2020
Allyson Ota became the Electronic Resources Coordinator at Kapiʻolani Community College in 2020. Prior to this, she served as a librarian at Honolulu Community College, performing cataloging, reference, instruction, and served as the Hawaiʻi Pacific librarian. Prior to HonCC, she was as a contractor, solo Librarian/Archivist, at the NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. She was a Development & Digital Projects Specialist at University of Hawaiʻi Press, handling digital publishing initiatives and open access projects. 

Elizabeth (Ellie) Seaton, Director – Secretary, 2019-2021
Ellie Seaton is the librarian of the Hawaiian Historical Society and an archivist at Hamilton Library’s Hawaiian and Pacific Collection. At the Historical Society, she stewards archival collections and rare books. She is currently (and ecstatically) cataloging a collection of late 19th-century Hawaiian Language publications. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a M.S. in Library & Information Science with a concentration in Archival Studies.

Charmaine Wong, Director, 2019-2020
Charmaine Wong serves as the Archaeology Collections Manager at Bishop Museum. She works in the Anthropology Department at Bishop Museum overseeing the care and preservation of the Archaeology Collections which includes artifacts, samples, and a range of archival items. She holds a BA in Anthropology with a Linguistics minor, an MA in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology, and a graduate certificate in Historic Preservation.

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