Kahea is a creative communications and operations specialist with a passion for Indigenous peoples rights and sustainability. She has lived and traveled around the world, including studying the shifting terrain of ethno-political conflict and human rights in Northern Ireland, as well as the construction of culture and identity in colonial spaces in Aotearoa. Much of her career has been focused on preserving Indigenous rights to self-determination, sovereignty, land, water and sacred spaces. In 2008, her research on the socio-economic status of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders was included in the Mieklejohn Civil Liberties Institute shadow report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. From 2008-2009, she served as a law clerk with Alexander, Berkey, Williams and Weathers, where she worked on cases to ensure tribal rights under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, various environmental regulations, and the Klamath River settlement.
After graduating from law school with a focus on human rights and Federal Indian Law, Kahea joined WEA as a Legal Research Intern, then Coordinator for the North America Program’s central initiative, the Advocacy Network. In 2013, she shifted her focus full-time to leading WEA’s communications and operations, and in 2020 stepped into her current role as Co-Director.
Kahea was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and now lives with her husband and son in the Bay Area. She’s had her work published in various academic and legal journals, has served as a writing/editing consultant for purpose-driven organizations and companies, and is a certified life coach.