Kiersten Faulkner Inducted into the AICP College of Fellows

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) is proud to announce that Kiersten Faulkner has achieved the planning profession’s highest honor by being named to the prestigious American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows for her outstanding achievements in community planning. Ms. Faulkner is one of 53 inductees into this year’s College of Fellows with the formal induction ceremony taking place during APA’s National Planning Conference in San Diego, on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

The Hawaii Chapter and Historic Hawaii Foundation will also hold a joint reception in Honolulu to celebrate Ms. Faulkner’s induction into the College of Fellows. The reception will occur on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. For information and to purchase tickets, see

Kiersten Faulkner

Ms. Faulkner has served as the executive director of Historic Hawaii Foundation for 16 years, leading the statewide nonprofit organization in its mission to preserve and encourage the preservation of Hawaii’s historic sites, buildings, and communities. Prior to joining Historic Hawaii Foundation in 2006, Ms. Faulkner was a Senior City Planner with the City & County of Denver for six years. She holds a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2005.

Some of Ms. Faulkner’s key accomplishments with lasting impact cited in her FAICP nomination include:

  • Established and manages a preservation grant program that resulted in 75 projects to preserve historic properties, with over $3M disbursed since 2012.
  • Negotiated and signed over 60 Memoranda of Agreement to resolve adverse effects on historically and cultural significant properties since 2006.
  • Used education, outreach, and advocacy to help Hawaii establish a State Income Tax Credit for Rehabilitation of Historic Properties enacted in 2019.
  • Facilitated a planning charrette and served on the Legislature’s task force in efforts that led to the designation of the Honouliuli National Historic Site in 2015.
  • Elevates diversity by convening a Community Forum on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage in the Hawaiian Islands (held in 2018).

Ms. Faulkner’s FAICP nomination noted that she is at the frontline for preservation issues in Hawaii. Her thorough assessment and detailed analysis of issues are sought by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, and the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division. She is equally sought for her advice by developers, government agencies, educational institutions, Native Hawaiian organizations, as well as planning and design firms.

As a result of Ms. Faulkner’s persistence and perseverance, communities across the Hawaiian Islands are able to connect, enjoy, learn from, and be inspired by historic and cultural properties. Her actions helped save properties as diverse as traditional cultural landscapes; royal Palaces; World War II battlefields; the largest intact Chinatown in the United States; government and educational campuses; neighborhoods and commercial districts on all islands; and additional significant places that are touchstones of culture, identity, and place.


AICP-certified planners are members of the APA’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. Possession of AICP Certification demonstrates that an individual has the academic qualifications, relevant work experience, and mastery of essential skills needed to effectively serve the community as a professional planner. Becoming a Certified Planner is a multi-step process. Information on the process of obtaining AICP Certification and the benefits of possessing the certification can be found on APA National’s website.

Membership in the AICP College of Fellows is granted to planners who have obtained AICP certification and have achieved excellence in professional practice; teaching and mentoring; community service and leadership; and research. Invitation to join the College of Fellows comes after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the candidate has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the profession. The Hawaii Chapter’s nomination process involves a Special Committee established by the Chapter President that includes a mix of Chapter members who are already Fellows and Chapter AICP members who are not yet eligible for Fellow consideration. The Special Committee culls through eligible members based on years of membership, good standing, and contributions that in their judgement meet the criteria set forth in the Nomination Guidelines. The Fellows work with a potential candidate to develop their application. When ready, the application is forwarded to the Hawaii Chapter’s Executive Committee for action. This multi‐step vetting process ensures nominees demonstrate outstanding contributions in the field of planning and that the application meets the standards for consideration.