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Debi Hartmann Joins UHPA As Associate Executive Director of Governance


Honolulu, Hawaii – Debi Hartmann, former Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Campaign Coordinator for Governor Neil Abercrombie, and Chair of the Board of Education, has joined the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) as Associate Executive Director of Governance.

UHPA represents nearly 4,000 faculty members on 10 campuses across the statewide University of Hawaii system.

“Debi’s background as a university professor, UH graduate student, combined with her extensive field outreach and community collaboration experience, provide a perfect segue for her new role on UHPA’s leadership team,” said Kris Hanselman, UHPA’s Executive Director. “Her track record demonstrates strong organizational skills, an understanding of both federal and state policies, and ability to work effectively with elected boards and committees. She will be invaluable in addressing new, emerging challenges on the horizon for the faculty union.”

Prior to joining UHPA, Hartmann served as a consultant to the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), responsible for reassessing and developing a comprehensive government relations and lobbying program and providing extensive training for the teachers’ union.

She had been Gov. Abercrombie’s Campaign Coordinator from February 2013 to August 2015, responsible for operations in the headquarters and in the field, including event and fundraising management and donor communications.

As Executive Director for the Democratic Party of Hawaii from January 2010 to November 2012, Hartmann oversaw and made significant management process improvements to the party’s operations. She was involved in financial management, public relations, information technology, and human resources.

Hartmann managed the delegate selection process for and from the caucus, state convention, national convention and the election of the presidential nominee, and was responsible for all aspects of Hawaii Democratic Party Convention, including securing facilities, delegate lodging, entertainment and budget. Under her leadership, Hawaii became one of the first states in the nation to conduct a “paperless” convention, which resulted in significant cost savings for the party.

Hartmann also served as Assistant Professor in political science at Brigham Young University in Laie, Hawaii, from 1993 to 2009. In that role, she developed the American government studies curriculum, including the judicial law social justice sequence, the capstone course on the U.S. Constitution, and the first interactive political science course. She also instituted the university’s national and international internship program.

Hartmann’s contributions to public higher education with UHPA will dovetail with her achievements on behalf of Hawaii public school students from kindergarten through grade 12. While serving on the Board of Education from 1988 to 1994, Hartmann reached new milestones as the Board’s Chair that made positive, enduring changes in the landscape for public education.  She chaired the state’s first Education Summit, helped to negotiate the state’s first four-year union contract, and participated in establishing the A+ after school program, school-community-based management, the Hawaiian immersion program, and other additions to improve education in Hawaii.

Hartmann received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Brigham Young University, in Laie, and a master of arts degree in law and politics from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

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About the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974 and currently represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system statewide.