Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.



Suzanne Vares-Lum | President Suzanne Vares-Lum | President

East-West Center


We are pleased to announce that the Board of Governors of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i has selected Ms. Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum as their next President. Ms. Vares-Lum, who goes by Suzy, is the first woman and first Native Hawaiian to lead the Center since its founding in 1960. As a Major General in the U.S. Army, Ms. Vares-Lum advised the most senior officials at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, maintaining key relationships among nations within the Asia Pacific region. She retired from the military in April 2021 following 34 years of service and is a seasoned speaker and advocate on regional issues; leadership development; and women, peace, and security. Born and raised in Wahiawā on the Hawaiian island of O‘ahu, Ms. Vares-Lum received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master of Education in teaching from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Established by the U.S. Congress as the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange between East and West, the East-West Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with core funding from the U.S. government. Based in Honolulu, on 21 acres adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the East-West Center is comprised of numerous residential, research, and conference facilities, in addition to its Washington, D.C. office which provides connection and programming to congressional offices and other agencies.

The IM team that led this search was David Bellshaw, Regan Hirano Gough, and Joe Kralick.