Kabutaulaka will take over from Terence Wesley-Smith, who has served as director since 2010 and who will stay on as a member of the CPIS teaching faculty.
Born and raised on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Kabutaulaka is well known and widely respected throughout the region. He has established a distinguished record of teaching, research, and service in academic institutions, as well as a reputation for his work as a consultant for regional governments and nongovernmental organizations across Oceania and beyond.
Kabutaulaka has been a member of the CPIS core faculty since 2009, teaching Pacific Islands studies courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with particular emphasis on issues related to land and economic development, conflicts, post-conflict rehabilitation/peace-building, natural resources, governance, regionalism, and China in Oceania. In addition to his teaching,
Kabutaulaka is currently the Editor of the Pacific Islands Monograph Series and member of the editorial board of The Contemporary Pacific. Prior to joining the Center, Kabutaulaka was a Research Fellow for the Pacific Islands Development Program of the East-West Center, and he has taught at the University of the South Pacific and the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.
Kabutaulaka holds a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University, as well as a Master of Arts in Development Studies and Bachelor of Arts in History/Politics & Language/Literature from the University of the South Pacific.