Noelani Pearl Hunt

Noelani has been active in many nonprofit, cultural, political and minority communities for over 20 years. She and the Love of her Life, Albert Hernandez Jr, live with their blended families, her daughter and her bonus children, in San Jose, CA.

Noelani Pearl Hunt has over two decades of nonprofit and political campaign management experience. Her work in development, public relations, board management, nonprofit/ campaign strategy, civil rights, social justice, and diversity/ inclusion give her a broad lens view to help her clients’ organizations succeed.

Her leadership roles in public service and professional efforts with local, national and global nonprofits give her the well-rounded experience needed to coach nonprofit leaders and executives successfully. 


She is currently focusing on coaching nonprofit executives and providing her nonprofit management expertise to the Nonprofit Leadership Lab. 


Over a decade ago, she started coaching nonprofit and community leaders, as well as political candidates. This experience gives her a unique view of the world, helping her clients thrive and pivot. She has a distinctive coaching style that combines therapeutic modalities, coaching methods, experienced strategic advice, and a healthy dose of straight forward real talk for a perfect combination that you need to move towards your success.


She has coached countless nonprofits executives acting as a crucial advisor helping their organizations go from good to extraordinary. 


Through her in-depth understanding of how things can go right and incredibly wrong in a nonprofit, she can create comprehensive best next steps for any nonprofit. During her work with her clients, she has:


  • Raise millions of dollars by building deep relationships with donors and foundations

  • Conducted Board Retreats focused on strategic planning sessions

  • Guided the creation of diversity, equity, and inclusion plans from information gained during focus groups.

  • Made leadership transition plans for organizations experiencing different types of change

Noelani was the first Filipina America elected to the Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Education (Alviso, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale). She served as the board’s first woman of color President.


She is proud of her work during her tenure on the school board, where she spearheaded projects that focused on equity in education:

  • She focused on increasing graduation rates steadily from 81.4% to 88.7% during her tenure as President, focusing on all students reading at grade level by third grade and providing necessary supports through twelfth grade to successful graduation.

  • She guided the recruitment and supported a more diverse student population to participate and succeed in advanced placement (AP) courses.

  • Her vision created the program that earned national recognition for our AP equity work and funded AP, PSAT, and SAT college placement exam fees for the last three years so that all students can participate without being limited by the expense.

  • She grew career technical education pathways and saw students and programs recognized with state and national awards.

  • She pushed to expand science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) focus across the entire district.

  • Under her leadership, a STEAM elementary school (Central Park Elementary), two computer science immersion schools (Montague and Sutter elementary schools) opened.

  • She focused on increasing supports for the most vulnerable students - including English learners and those with special needs - and expand academic counseling, social-emotional, music, arts, and library supports for all students.

  • She lead the passing of Measure BB in 2018, the largest school bond in California’s history, 720 Million Dollars. The bond measure provided the funding for critically needed facility improvements to better serve students, including constructing five new schools to meet t growth.

Noelani’s nonprofit work includes serving on boards of several nonprofits focusing on education and income equity while enlightening minority populations to use their voice. She has previously served on the boards of organizations such as the Santa Clara Schools Foundation, the Wilcox Dance Team Boosters, and Next Vista for Learning. She is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, social justice, and the environment, having served on the boards of DAWN (Democratic Activists for Women Now), the Asian Pacific American Democratic Club, and BAYMEC (an LGBT rights organization). She is currently serving on the board of Building Peaceful Families as their Vice-Chair.


In 2015 Noelani was awarded one of the Most Influential Filipina Woman in World Award, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 awards, and was inducted into the East Side Union School District Hall of Fame.


Noelani strives for excellence in everything she does, fueled by a belief in the fundamental right of equality for all. She understands the positive impact that a well-rounded education can have on a community. She strives every day to ensure that students receive the education they need and deserve.


Noelani earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University.