University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng today announced the appointment of Kaʻiu Kimura as interim executive director of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. Kimura replaces Peter Giles, who served as ‘Imiloa’s executive director since 2005.
Kimura joined ‘Imiloa as the Hawaiian content research specialist during its planning phase in 2001 and later served as the center’s experience coordinator. She most recently held the position of associate director with the additional responsibility for all visitor experiences as well as planetarium, educational, exhibit, cultural and cultural landscape programming.
“Kaʻiu brings a wealth of experience to this position, combined with energy and drive,” Tseng said. “She also embraces ʻImiloa’s mission to integrate science and culture, which will enable her to build on the center’s accomplishments and take it to the next level.”
Kimura was raised in Waimea and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus. She returned to the Big Island to attend UH Hilo where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies. Kimura says she is humbled and excited about the opportunity to head ‘Imiloa.
“I’ve watched and participated as the center has evolved from its development, through its opening and beyond to its operational phase,” Kimura explained. “And I’m constantly amazed at how ‘Imiloa pursues its greater mission to inspire and provide greater opportunities for our youth and the community-at-large in the area of scientific innovation through a living and dynamic world view of our Hawaiian culture.”
Kimura said she wants to see ‘Imiloa develop more creative educational programming to engage Hawaiʻi’s youth and inspire them to become the next generation of innovation leaders. She also plans to continue developing ‘Imiloa as a place for meaningful dialogue to promote scientific advancement and innovation.