Peter Ho ’83, one of Hawai‘i’s most influential leaders, will join Punahou School’s Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2021, bringing vast business experience and decades of community involvement.
Ho is Chairman, President and CEO of Bank of Hawaii. He also serves as the Chair of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Co-Chair of the State of Hawai‘i’s House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, and on numerous other charitable and community organizations, including the Hawaii Business Roundtable and the East-West Center. Through work with the Aloha United Way, he has called attention to the challenges facing working families in Hawai‘i with limited assets and significant financial insecurity.
“We are deeply grateful to have someone who has long been one of Hawai‘i’s most respected leaders join our Board of Trustees,” President Mike Latham ’86 said. “Peter has been instrumental in steering the State through the pandemic, but his leadership extends to other critical areas of our community. As an alumnus and parent of current Punahou students, his vast experience, perspective and commitment to the School will be invaluable.”
A native of Honolulu, Ho joined Bank of Hawaii in 1993 working in and managing several operating businesses, including Commercial Banking, Retail Banking, and Trust and Private Client Services. He was appointed President in 2008 and, in 2010, added the titles of Chairman and CEO. During his tenure, Bank of Hawaii has been named one of America’s best banks by Forbes magazine for 12 consecutive years. Ho also served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for two consecutive terms from 2013 to 2018.
“All organizations come down to people, managing people and inspiring people. As CEO of Bank of Hawaii for the past 11 years, that’s something I’ve had a chance to do every day,” Ho said. “I see my role as really being able to help the School continue to build its culture. I want to be a part of helping students, faculty and staff be the best that they can be.”
Last year, Ho was interviewed for an article in the Punahou Bulletin. During that interview, he cited the importance of working toward increased economic and educational parity in Hawai‘i. Ho had said it’s incumbent for a school like Punahou and its talented graduates to accept responsibility and assume leadership to create a healthy, sustainable community for all.
To become tomorrow’s leaders, Ho believes Punahou students will need to align their skills with what’s needed in the world. “Just look at all of the elements that have been unleashed in our communities through technology, scientific advancement and the digital world,” he said. “What that’s brought forward are a lot of opportunities, but also a lot of challenges. Essential skills are not just STEM or classical liberal arts anymore. Rather, soft skills like empathy, understanding, and the ability to think through consequences from a social standpoint, all will be vital parts of education now and into the future.”
Ho holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He is also a 2008 graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He and his wife, Michelle Kondo ’91 Ho, have two children, ages 12 and 14. His father and siblings all graduated from Punahou as well.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity because Punahou has been a big part of my life, my family’s and my extended family as well,” Ho said. “It’s a special institution, an important institution that has a lot to contribute to our world.”
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