May 6, 2024
The Honorable Phil Mendelson
Council of the District of Columbia
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 504
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Chairman Mendelson:
In accordance with section 2 of the Confirmation Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-
142; D.C. Official Code § 1-523.01), and pursuant to section 305 of the Office of Asian and Pacific
Islander Affairs Establishment Act of 2001, effective October 3, 2001 (D.C. Law 14-28; D.C. Official
Code § 2-1374), I am pleased to nominate the following individual:
Dr. Halaevalu Vakalahi
E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(Ward 2)
for appointment as a public voting member of the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander
Community Development, filing a vacant seat, for a term to end April 17, 2025.
Enclosed, you will find biographical information detailing the experience of the above-mentioned
nominee, together with a proposed resolution to assist the Council during the confirmation process.
I would appreciate the Council’s earliest consideration of this nomination for confirmation. Please
do not hesitate to contact me, or Steven Walker, Director, Mayor’s Office of Talent and
Appointments, should the Council require additional information.
Muriel Bowser
Chairman Phil Mendelson
3 at the request of the Mayor
15 To confirm the appointment ofHalaevalu Vakalahi to the Commission on Asian and Pacific
16 Islander Community Development.
19 resolution may be cited as the "Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Community
20 Development Halaevalu Vakalahi Confirmation Resolution of 2024".
21 Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia confirms the appointment of:
23 Dr. Halaevalu Vakalahi
24 E Street, NW
25 Washington, DC 20004
26 (Ward 2)
28 as a public voting member of the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Community
29 Development, established by section 305 of the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
30 Establishment Act of 2001, effective October 3, 2001 (D.C. Law 14-28; D.C. Official Code§ 2-
31 1374), filing a vacant seat, for a term to end April 17, 2025.
32 Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution,
33 upon its adoption, to the nominee and to the Office of the Mayor.
34 Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, MSW, M.Ed., Ph.D.
President and CEO, 2023 to present – Council on Social Work Education, Alexandria, VA
Dean and Professor, 2018 to 2023 – Hawai’i Pacific University, College of Health and Society,
Honolulu, HI 96813. School of Social Work, Department of Public Health, Department of
Nursing, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program, and
Physician Assistant Program.
Associate Dean and Professor, 2014 to 2018; Associate Dean and Associate Professor, July
2012 to 2014 – Morgan State University, School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD 21251.
Director of Master’s Social Work Program and Associate Professor, February 2007 to June
2012 – George Mason University, Department of Social Work, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Accreditation Specialist, January 2005 to January 2007 – Council on Social Work Education,
Office of Social Work Accreditation and Educational Excellence, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Coordinator of Baccalaureate Social Work Program and Lecturer, August 2003 to
December 2004 – San Francisco State University, School of Social Work, San Francisco, CA
Department Chair and Assistant Professor, August 2001 to July 2003 – Brigham Young
University-Hawaii, Department of Social Work, Laie, HI 96762.
Assistant Professor, July 1999 to July 2001 – New Mexico State University, School of Social
Work, Las Cruces, NM 88003.
Starks, S.H., Mallinger, G., Countee-Gilliam, C.C., Schmitz, C., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2021).
Mentoring Women for Leadership: Empowering the Next Generation. Washington DC: NASW
Wells-Wilbon, R., McPhatter, A., & Vakalahi, H.F.O., Editors (2015). Social Work Practice
with African Americans in Urban Environments. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Ritter, J., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2014). 101 Careers in Social Work, 2nd edition. New York, NY:
Springer Publishing.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Simpson, G.M., & Giunta, N., Editors (2014). The Collective Spirit of Aging
Across Cultures. New York, NY: Springer Science and Business Media publisher.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Godinet, M., Editors (2014). Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and
Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum. Washington DC: NASW Press.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Peebles-Wilkins, W., Editors (2009). Women of Color on the Rise:
Leadership and Administration in Social Work Education and the Academy. New York, NY:
Columbia University Press.
Ritter, J., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Kiernan-Stern, M. (2009). 101 Careers in Social Work, 1st
edition. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Starks, S., & Ortiz Hendricks, C., Editors, (2007). Women of Color as Social
Work Educators: Strengths and Survival. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education
Journal Co-Founder, Co-Editor in Chief
Urban Social Work (2017-present) peer-reviewed journal, partnership between Morgan State
University, Lehman College, and Hawai’i Pacific University, underwritten by New York
Community Trust, and published by Springer Publishing. Co-Editor in Chief, Co-Founder (Dr.
Halaevalu Vakalahi, Dr. Dana Wilson, Dr. Brenda Williams-Gray, Dr. Carl Mazza). Prose
Journal Special Section/Issue
Stevenson, A., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & McPhatter, A., Editors (2016). Journal of Social Work
Education, Special Section on “The HBCU Experience: Contributions to Social Work
Journal Articles Peer-Reviewed
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Countee-Gilliam, C., McPhatter, A., Washington, E.M., & Waites, C. (in
press). Women of color pipeline to academic leadership. Advancing Women in Leadership.
Kamaka, M.L., Freitas, S.M., Marshall, S.M., Walsh, M.E., Kamakawiwo’ole, S., Miller, J.M.,
& Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2021). He ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani Mai Au: Developing a cultural framework
for advancing COVID-19 related, community-informed health policies. Hawai’i Journal of
Health and Social Welfare, 80(10 Suppl 2), 50-56.
Godinet, M.T., McGlinn, L., Nelson, D., & Vakalahi, H. (2019). Factors Contributing to
Substance Misuse Treatment Completion among Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and
Asian Americans. Substance Use and Misuse, DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1657896.
Godinet, M.T., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Mokuau, N. (2019). Transnational Pacific Islanders:
Implications for Social Work. Social Work, 64(2), 113-122.
Rasheem, S., Alleman, A.-S., Mushonga, D., Anderson, D., & Ofahengaue Vakalahi, H. F.
(2018). Mentor-shape: Exploring the mentoring relationships of black women in doctoral
programs. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 26(1), 50–
Alleman, A., Allen, S., Darrell, L., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2018). Women of Color and work-life
balance in an urban environment: What is reality? Urban Social Work, 2(1), 80-95.
Van Sluytman, L., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2017). Our immigrant fathers: Reflecting on caregiving.
Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 23(1), 13-26.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Hafoka, O.K.L. (2017). Beyond Words: Language of our Ancestors.
Ameriasia Journal, 43(1), 1-12.
Gilliam, C.C., Chandler, M.A., Al-Hajjaj, H.A., Mooney, A.N., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2016).
Intentional leadership planning and development: The collective responsibility to educate more
social work leaders. Advances in Social Work, 17(2), 330-339. doi:10.18060/18606
Baldwin-Clark, T., Ofahengaue Vakalahi, H. F., & Anderson, B. (2016). What about African
American older women and depressive symptoms? Educational Gerontology, 42(5), 310–320.
Egleton, M., Banigo, D., McLeod, B., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2016). Homelessness among
formerly incarcerated African American Men: Contributors and consequences. Contemporary
Social Science, 11(4), 403-413. DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2016.1258590
Allen, S.A., Sinclair, M. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2016). Organizational Identification: Perspectives
of Dispersed Social Workers. Advances in Social Work, 17(2), 285-303.
Mafile’o, T. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2016). Indigenous social work across borders: Expanding
social work in the South Pacific. International Social Work. DOI: 10.1177/0020872816641750
Davis, R.L., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Smith, L.L. (2015). Pacific Islander youth and sources of risk
for problem behavior. Families in Society, 96(2), 99-107.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Sermon, M., Richardson, A., Dillard, V., & Moncrief, A. (2014). Do you see
me? The complex experiences of female students of color. Intercultural Education, 25(5), 418-
Baldwin, T., Vaughn, J., Cotton, C., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2014). Where is Spirituality in Social
Work? Perspectives on Social Work, 10(1), 5-13.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Davis, R.L. (2014). The Taro Plant and Pacific Islander Health: Returning to
the Wisdom of the Elders. Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(4), 9-18.
Starks, S.H., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & McPhatter, A. (2014). Spirituality: A sustaining force among
Women of Color academics. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought,
33, 131-147.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Ihara, E.S., Hafoka, M.P. (2014). Family Roots: Sustenance for Samoan and
Tongan American Elders. Journal of Family Strengths, 13(1), 1-17.
Allen, S.A., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2013). My team members are everywhere! A critical analysis
of the emerging literature on dispersed teams. Administration in Social Work, 37, 1-8.
Vakalahi, H.F.O & Taiapa, J. (2013). Getting Grounded on Maori research. Journal of
Intercultural Studies, 34(4), 399-409.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2013). Generations Linked: A case example of Māori grandparents. Journal of
Family Social Work, 16(4), 332-347.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Taiapa, J., & Ware. F. (2013). Taonga: Grandchildren the Treasures of
Grandparents. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 20(3), 112-119.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Godinet, M.T. (2012). Lived experiences of youth of color in secured
facilities. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 10, 295-315.
Ihara, E.S. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2012). Collective Worldviews and Health: Through the Lens of
Pacific American Elders. Journal of Educational Gerontology 38(6), 400-411.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2012). Cultural context of health and well-being among Samoan and Tongan
Elders. Indian Journal of Gerontology, 12(1), 75-93.
Ihara, E.S. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2011). Spirituality: The Essence of Wellness among Tongan
and Samoan Elders. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 30(4),
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2011). Pacific roots and American wings. Advancing the Conversation
(Personal Reflections). Multicultural Perspectives, 13(2), 105-110.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Ihara, E. (2011). Research with Indigenous Cultures: A Case Study Analysis
of Tongan Grandparents (Research Note). Families in Society, 92(2), 230-235.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Starks, S.H. (2011). Health and well-being of women of color academics.
International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(2), 185-190.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2011). Tongan grandparents and grandchildren: The impact of
grandparenting. International Social Work, 54(4), 580-598.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., De Paz, C.M., & Davis, M.E. (2010). Diversity and difference: What’s the
social work commitment? Mosaic, 3(1), 13-24.
Kashim, S. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2010). Children, Youth, and Families in Dual Jurisdictions: An
analysis of the emerging literature. The Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, XII, 2, 7-18.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Starks, S.H. (2010). Complexities of becoming visible: Reflecting on the
stories of women of color as social work educators. AFFILIA, 25(2), 110-122.
Starks, S.H., Vakalahi, H.F.O., Comer, J., & Ortiz Hendricks, C. (2010). Gathering, telling,
preparing the stories: A vehicle for healing. Journal of Indigenous Social Work, 1(1), 8-16.
Vernon, B., Vakalahi, H.F.O., Pittman-Munke, P., Adkins, L., & Pierce, D. (2009). Distance
Education Programs in Social Work: Present Trends and Future Intentions. Journal of Social
Work Education, 45(2), 1-13.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2009). Pacific Islander Students: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
Children and Youth Services Review, 31(12), 1258-1263.
Godinet, M., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2009). Conceptualizing Delinquency among Samoan
adolescents: An Integrative Model. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 7(2), 135-159.
Godinet, M.T., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2008). Community, Neighborhood, and Peer Influence on
Samoan-American Youths. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 17(4), 326-
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Toafa, S.G., & Moala, K.O. (2008). Grand-parenting in the Tongan
Community: A Cultural Model. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 6(3), 305-319.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Godinet, M. (2008). Family and culture and the Samoan youth. Journal of
Family Social Work, 11(3), 229-253.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Heffernan, P.K., & Johnson, R.A. (2007). Pacific Islander elderly: A model
for bridging generations and systems. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 12(2), 26-41.
Vakalahi, H.F., Briar-Lawson, K., Yaffe, J., & Durrant, L. (2002). Family-based Predictors of
Adolescent Substance Use. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 11(3), 1-15.
Vakalahi, H.F. (2001). Adolescent Substance Use and Family-Based Risk and Protective
Factors: A Literature Review. Journal of Drug Education, 31(1).
Vakalahi, H.F., Harrison, R. S., & Janzen, F.V. (2000). The Influence of Family-Based Risk and
Protective Factors on Adolescent Substance Use. Journal of Family Social Work, 4(1), 21-34.
Book Chapters, Commendatory, References, and Professional Reports
Vakalahi, H., Giroux, D., & Toafa-Kaufusi, S. (under revision). Theories and frameworks of
group work. In Group Work for Social Workers: A culturally responsive applied approach,
Patricia Saleeby (Ed.).
Vakalahi, H.F.O. (in press). Be still, eat some chocolate, and let God in C.S. Turner and C.A.
Stanley Preparing for Full Professor: Critical Issues on Gender and Racial Equity in Research,
Teaching, Service, and Policy Making.
Wells, A., Kirchner, S., Ramsey, G., Van Sluytman, L.G., Vakalahi, H.F.O, & Rowel, R. (in
press). Closing the Community-Academia Gap to move Baltimore City to New Heights in
GBUL State of Black Baltimore.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Sinclair, M.M., Sheafor, B., & Tupola, P. (2022). Organizations and
Associations. In Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work. Oxford Press.
Mafile’o, T., Mitaera, J., & Vakalahi, H. (2022). Collective cultures, power, and individual
judgement. In SAGE Handbook of Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work,
Brian Taylor (Ed.).
Vakalahi, H., Sinclair, M., Sheafor, B., & Tupola, P. (2022, Feb 24, 2013, June 11). Social Work
Professional Organizations and Associations. In Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi:
Vakalahi, H.F.O, Locklear, A.K., Balestrery, J. (2021). Sovereignty, Rights, and the Well-Being
of Indigenous Peoples living in the United States. NASW Policy Statement, Social Work Speaks,
12th Edition, NASW Policy Statements 2021-2023.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Hafoka Kanuch, O.K.L. (2020). Navigating the Hyphen: Tongan-American
Women in Academia. In Hune, S. & Nomura, G.M., (Editors). Our Voices, Our Lives: New
Dimensions of Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s History. New York University
Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Hafoka Kanuch, O.K.L. (2019). Our Pacific Elders as keepers and
transmitters of culture. In Ravulo, J., Mafile’o, T., & Yeates, D.B., (Editors). Pacific Social
Work: navigating practice, policy and research. Routledge (UK).
Wagner, F.A., Van Sluytman, L.G., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Wosu. C.N. (2018). Qualitative
research in gerontology and geriatrics, p. 73-81, in Aging Research: Methodology Issues by
Carmen Garcia-Pena, Luis Miguel Gutierrez-Robledo, & Mario Ulises Perez-Zepeda. Spring
Link publishing.
Vakalahi, H.F.O., Hafoka, O.K.L, & Fong, R. (2016). Asian and Pacific Islander Immigrant and
Refugee Children and Families. In Alan Dettlaff and Fong, R. (editors), Immigrant and Refugee
Children and Families: Culturally Responsive Practice. New York, NY: Columbia University
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Fong, R. (2015). Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. In Social Workers’
Desk Reference, 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Pittman, M.E., Scheidt, L.M., Munford, M.R., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2015). The Magic of Aging
in the Urban Environment. In R.W. Wilbon, A. R. McPhatter, & H. F. O. Vakalahi
(Eds.), Social work practice with African Americans in urban communities. New York, NY:
Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Littlefield, M.B., McLane-Davison, D., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2015). Global Gender Inequality.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work Online. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. DOI:
Davis, R. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2014). Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Oxford
Bibliographies in Social Work. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. New York: Oxford University Press.
DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0185.
Davis, M.E., Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Scales, S.R. (2014). Women of Color in the Academy: From
Trauma to Transformation (p. 265-177). In Disrupting the Culture of Silence: Women
Navigating Hostility and Making Change in the Academy, Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Yancey, K., Baldwin, T., Saran, A. & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2014). City Life—What a Wonderful
Way of Life: Aging in the Urban Environment. In Vakalahi, HFO, Simpson, G., & Guinta, N.
The Collective Spirit of Aging Across Cultures. Springer Media and Business Publishing.
Vakalahi, H.F. (2011). Commentary: Embracing Culture as Essential to Pacific People. Invited
Expert Commentary. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 5(2), 85-89.
Vakalahi, H.F.O. & Fong, R. (2008). Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. In Social Workers’
Desk Reference, 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Vakalahi, H.O., Godinet, M., & Fong, R. (2006). Pacific Islander Americans: Impact of
Colonization and Immigration. In R. Fong, R.G. McRoy, & C.O. Hendricks, (Eds.), Intersecting
Child Welfare, Substance Abuse, and Family Violence. Washington, D.C.: Council on Social
Work Education Press.
Vakalahi, H.O., (2005). Commendatory Preface. In D. Hippolite Wright, K. Ward, & R. Ram,
In her own voice: Pacific Islander women speak. M