Debbie Millikan, Ph.D., will join Punahou as its first ever Director of Sustainability, beginning Aug. 10. In this inaugural role, she will lead the planning, development and implementation of the School’s overall sustainability strategy.
“Sustainability is both an existential challenge for our society and an area of tremendous opportunity and innovation,” said Punahou President Mike Latham ’86. “I am thrilled to have her leadership in this critical endeavor, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together as we build a more sustainable future.”
Millikan is a seasoned educator with a background in environmental science, innovation, teaching and public engagement. Throughout her distinguished career, she has displayed a passion for working with fellow educators and students to promote youth leadership and sustainable practices inside and outside of the classroom, helping to foster interdisciplinary creativity and exploration.
Over the past two decades, she has worked as a teacher and sustainability specialist at Waikiki School and ‘Iolani School, where she advanced the school’s K – 12 sustainability curriculum across all academic disciplines, collaborating with teachers in the sciences, humanities and social studies fields. She has also forged key community partnerships and raised vital funding for O‘ahu Farm to School Network, helping to transform school garden and cafeteria programs and train broad networks of teachers and administrators in sustainable food practices.
Millikan holds a B.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego, a Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD, and completed a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in microbial biology at the University of Hawai‘i’s Pacific Biomedical Research Center. She is the lead author and co-author of a host of articles in professional journals as well and has spent much of her career translating science into action.