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The University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) in the College of Social Sciences has received $1.2 million in private support to fund critical economic research, and help Hawai‘i on the path to recovery.

UH President David Lassner said, “We are deeply grateful to our community partners for their robust support of UHERO and the critical economic research that takes place every day. UH expertise is absolutely essential to our pandemic recovery, and these philanthropic investments will help Hawai‘i craft a sustainable and thriving path forward for our people across the islands.”

Donors include Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, DGM Group, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Hawaii Pacific Health, American Savings Bank, Stanford Carr Development, HPM Building Supply Foundation, First Insurance Charitable Foundation, HGEA, Hawaii State AFL-CIO, Island Insurance Foundation, and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Hawai‘i Community Foundation CEO and President Micah Kāne said, “As Hawai‘i straddles crisis response and recovery planning, the state needs reliable, timely and accurate economic analysis to guide decision making and our way forward.” Kāne continued, “By supporting UHERO’s research, we can ensure that our leaders, stakeholders and communities across the state have the complex data they need to make the decisions that will shape our future.”

The $1.2 million will enable UHERO to hire two full-time faculty and build capacity for applied research on the most pressing issues facing Hawai‘i.

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham said, “Throughout the pandemic, businesses, nonprofits, and public sector decision-makers have relied on us for our trusted and independent analysis of the Hawai‘i economy. With the addition of these new team members, we will be able to sustain and grow our research efforts, and continue to help our state navigate through the current economic upheaval and the nascent recovery.”

UHERO was co-founded in the 1990s by four UH Mānoa economics faculty members—Bonham, Byron Gangnes, Sumner La Croix and Denise Eby Konan, now dean of the College of Social Sciences. “We are thankful to our community partners for their support of UHERO during the pandemic and into the future,” said Konan. “The primary goal of the College of Social Sciences and its units, such as UHERO, has always been to provide evidence-based social sciences research that brings to light important data and analysis, so it can assist Hawai‘i’s leaders in making informed policy and business decisions.”

What role does UHERO play in Hawai‘i’s economic recovery?

  • Responds to questions from decision-makers, the press and the community regarding the immediate economic crisis.
  • Conducts long-term economic recovery analysis, using cutting-edge models to forecast Hawai‘i’s economy even as we navigate unprecedented changes in the state and around the world.
  • Integrates emerging information on testing and epidemiological models to inform local decision-making to safely restart the economy.
  • Updates and expands existing analytics tools and visualizations, including new high frequency economic data for every county in the state.

Bank of Hawai‘i Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho said, “It is becoming increasingly evident that Hawai‘i’s battle with the novel coronavirus and its aftermath will not be a sprint, but a marathon. Together, through innovative public-private partnerships, we will be able to meet the economic uncertainty armed with the best information to guide us to sustainable economic revival.”


Marked by leadership, excellence and innovation, the College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa provides students with a culturally diverse experience that transforms them into bold, engaged global citizens who affect change, break down barriers, touch lives and succeed in a multi-cultural context. Its student-centered environment is dedicated to providing students with a vibrant academic climate that affords exciting, intense interaction among students and faculty as they address fundamental questions about human behavior. Featuring outstanding scholarship through internships, active and service learning approaches to teaching, and an international focus particularly in the Asia Pacific region, it prepares students to become leaders in public and private enterprises throughout Hawai‘i and Asia.

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.

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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org

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