Ryan Kawailani Ozawa is a native Hawaiian journalist and technologist who covers the Hawaii innovation ecosystem, including local science, technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and the arts. He has contributed to every major media outlet in the state, including Hawaii News Now, KITV, KHON, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii Public Radio, and Civil Beat. He has also been featured in outlets including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Newsweek, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and NPR.
Ryan has immersed himself in new media and new technologies for four decades, publishing online before the advent of the World Wide Web, and was an early adopter of social networks as well as platforms and tools for blogging, podcasting, online video, and live video streaming. He has meanwhile co-founded two startups and two nonprofits in areas ranging from civic engagement to ag-tech and from public health to STEM education.
In addition to his community contributions, Ryan’s professional experience includes serving as the Communications Director for Hawaii tech firm Hawaii Information Service, as Information Security Officer for Hawaii National Bank, and as IT Director for the Pacific Basin Economic Council. Independent since 2022, Ryan also provides consultancy services to local businesses and organizations.
A 1992 graduate of Mililani High School, Ryan earned a journalism degree from UH-Manoa with an emphasis on the Hawaiian language. During his studies, he was awarded first place for investigative reporting by the Carol Burnett Fund for Responsible Journalism. Outside the classroom, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Ka Leo O Hawaii, the daily student newspaper at UH-Manoa, for two years (1995-1997), after holding the same post at Ke Kalahea, the weekly student newspaper at UH-Hilo (1994-’95).