Kazumi Ogawa ’86 has worked for the United Nations since 1994 in Yugoslavia, Central African Republic, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Each year, the Punahou Alumni Association recognizes individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of others through service and contribution to the communities of Punahou, Hawai‘i and beyond. Their achievements are an inspiration to the Punahou community.
Other awardees for this year include Ethan Abbott ’72, Bruce and Lita Thompson ’68 Blankenfeld, Emeritus Imu Gang, Pamela Hamamoto ’78, Lynn Kimura ’81 Kunishige, Larry Langley ’68, Barb Young ’67 Morgan and David W. Pratt ’53.
Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award
This award is given to Punahou alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of public service, humanitarian or charitable efforts, arts, letters or sciences, to society, garnering national or international recognition.
Kazumi Ogawa ’86 has worked for the United Nations since 1994 in Yugoslavia, Central African Republic, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo. She has dedicated her career to international humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in political affairs, human rights and crisis management.
“I have an opportunity to do something about big problems, and I am proud to be part of a collective effort on the part of the world to try to affront some of these crises,” explained Ogawa as she accepted her award.
Ogawa was born in Japan and came to Punahou in high school. Her mother, she says, was seeking an outward-looking school for her daughter.
“My four years at Punahou were formative. They prepared me for university, of course, but more significantly, they created the conditions that made the safe space to allow us to try to figure out who we are and what we wanted to do,” said Ogawa.
“I’m very honored to be recognized as a humanitarian for doing what I love doing,” Ogawa said. “I would like to accept this Samuel Chapman Armstrong award, not as an award, but as a promise. I’d like to promise that I will continue to try to meet the expectations of Punahou School in terms of social responsibility, in terms of moral responsibility and to try to be an engaged citizen.”