Halaevalu Fonongava'inga Ofahengaue Vakalahi, MEd, MSW, PhD
President and Chief Executive OfficerHalaevalu is a Pacific Islander-American woman, born in Tonga and raised in Hawai’i. To her good fortune, she continues to be nurtured and mentored by phenomenal people from diverse academic spaces, cultures, and communities. For that, she is eternally grateful.
Halaevalu is the President and CEO of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Prior to joining CSWE, she was Professor and Dean of the College of Health and Society at Hawai’i Pacific University over the disciplines of social work, public health, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant. Prior to HPU, she was Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Social Work at Morgan State University, Baltimore MD; Associate Professor and MSW Program Director at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Lecturer and BSW Coordinator at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA; Assistant Professor and Department Chair at BYU-Hawai’i, La’ie, HI; and Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.
She has been blessed to serve in various professional organizations including the Council on Social Work Education and National Association of Social Workers as well as in her Pacific Islander community and in communities in which she has lived and worked. Her areas of teaching include social policy, human behavior and the social work environment, and organizational leadership. Her two areas of scholarship are: Pacific Islander culture and community, and Women of Color in academia, in which she has contributed extensively to the existing literature through peer-reviewed articles, chapters/references, co-edited/co-authored books, and other communication mediums. She hopes that her work has acknowledged her deep commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as actions that ultimately impact family and community well-being.
Her eclectic educational background with a B.S. in Business Management (BYU-Hawai’i), MSW (University of Hawai’i-Manoa), and M.Ed. and PhD in Social Work (University of Utah), have informed her leadership, scholarship, teaching, and service which she hopes has forwarded social and economic justice in some small way.