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Date: Monday, May 1, 2006
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Kamehameha CEO Mailer to keynote UH Hilo Spring Commencement

Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer will deliver the keynote address at the University of Hawaii at Hilo spring commencement, to be held on Saturday, May 13, at 9 a.m. at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Tennis Stadium.

A total of 467 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences (371), College of Business and Economics (48), Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language (28) and College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (20) are candidates for graduation.

Mailer is a 1970 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and has received two degrees from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa: a bachelor of science in nursing in 1975 and a masters in business administration in 1985. She is also a graduate of the Kaiser Permanente Executive Program, a business program for national healthcare executives offered in partnership with Stanford University. Her appointment as Kamehameha’s CEO in December 2003 garnered praise from Kamehameha alumni and community leaders.

“We are honored that Dee Jay Mailer will be addressing our graduating class as commencement keynote speaker,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. “Ms. Mailer is one of the University’s most distinguished alumnae. She exemplifies the ideals of leadership and community service and is a shining example of achievement for both women and for Native Hawaiians. Her exemplary record in health care, in non-profit foundations and in education is a testament to the value of diversity in the workforce as well as the limitless nature of human potential when an educated, prepared and confident individual encounters opportunity.”

Before taking the mantle of leadership at Kamehameha Schools, Mailer was the chief operating officer and executive director of The Global Fund, a private foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland, that raises and distributes funds to support the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries. During her tenure, some $3.4 billion was raised from international donors, $33 million of which was disbursed in grant funds to 92 countries. She worked her way to the top of the healthcare industry, from quality assurance director and nurse manager at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children to chief executive officer at Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i. Her implementation of a service-oriented culture improved health plan member satisfaction and retention rates to the highest levels in the State and within the national Kaiser program. After leaving Kaiser in 1999, she became chief administrative and operating officer of Health Net, Inc., a health insurance program serving two million members in California. She later served as senior vice president of National Contracting and Claims Best Practices for the company.


Mailer, who is married with two daughters, is also active in the community as a board member and chair-elect of the Hawai‘i Business Roundtable and has been chair of the Institute for Human Services. She is also a board member of the Pacific Research Institute, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the Aloha United Way and the Junior Achievement School Mentoring Program.

The student speaker selected to represent the Class of 2006 is James B. Cox, who will receive a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in chemistry. The 37-year-old Cox, who carries a 3.18 GPA, has worked as an Alaska king crab fisherman, statistically the world’s most dangerous job, and has also pulled 12-hour shifts at Ken’s House of Pancakes while attending UH Hilo full-time.

For more information on commencement, contact Jackie Pualani Johnson at (808) 974-7304 or email jpjohnso@hawaii.edu. For special accommodations, contact Susan Shirachi at (808) 933-0816 (V) or (808) 974-7335 (TTY). Requests for special accommodations should be made at least 10 business days prior to the event.


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