Kali Watson was appointed Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission by Gov. Josh Green and confirmed by the Senate on March 23, 2023. He previously served as Chairman from 1995 to 1998 under Gov. Cayetano where he was responsible for coordinating the development of over 3,100 residential lots on Hawaiian Home Lands, and implementation of the $600 million State settlement, including the transfer of 16,518 acres of State lands to make the trust whole. He was also instrumental in the passage and transfer of over 900 acres of Federal lands into the trust under the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act of 1995.
As the President & CEO of the native Hawaiian nonprofit Hawaiian Community Development Board, he worked with Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead Community Association and oversaw the development of the Nanakuli Village Center, which includes a commercial center, several medical clinics, the Kalaniho’okaha Cope Hawaiian Cultural-Learning Center and a 48-unit Hale Makana O Nanakuli affordable housing project.
Over the last 10 years, to expand HCDB's reach into the private non-homesteading areas, Kali established successful HCDB partnerships with various private developers of low-income housing tax credit projects primarily located on Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Projects include single family residential, townhouses, mid-rise and high-rise buildings. He is a graduate of UH Law School, Business School and Kamehameha Schools. Wife Judith Pavey and 3 sons Kala, Kealii and Nainoa.