Michael Chun

President Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Headmaster
2010 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S. Civil Engineering, 1966
  • Ph.D.Environmental Engineering, 1970

After earning his undergraduate degree in civil engineering in 1966 and his Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 1970, he focused ono bettering the infrastructure of his native Hawaii, and eventually assumed a top administrative role at the largest independent school system in the United States.

Chun served four years as director and chief engineer of the Department of Public Works for the City and County of Honolulu in the early 1980s.  He played a major role in bringing “H-Power” to Hawaii — a major innovation that processes solid waste to energy.

Since 1988, Chun has been a top administrator at Hawaii’s prestigious Kamehameha Schools.  He’s been president and headmaster of the school’s largest campus, Kapalama, located in Honolulu, since 2001 -- overseeing 9,000 students and hundreds of faculty.

In 1990, Chun was named Engineer of the Year by the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers.  In 1994, he won the KU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Citation, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Hawaii. He was also an offensive lineman for the 1965 KU football team that featured future NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers. 

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times