Key Staff

The trustees of the Foundation have purposively kept the cost of administration well below averages for foundations nationally. To this end, the office includes only one full-time staff person and one part-time office manager. The Bank of Hawaii’s Charitable Trust Division manages the fiscal affairs of the Foundation through an annually reviewed contract.

Al Castle serves as Executive Director and Treasurer. He also serves as trustee of the Pettus Foundation in Saint Louis, Missouri, a director of the Federal Philanthropic Fund and a trustee of the Colorado-based Trimble Charitable Trust. Al Castle picture
Educated at Punahou School, Colorado State University (BA, MA, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude), the University of New Mexico, the University of Virginia and Columbia University, Al is a diplomatic historian who has also written widely in such fields as philosophy, literature, history and foundation management. He is the author of two books, co-author of a major college philosophy textbook, and over 60 book reviews, newspaper feature articles, scholarly journal articles, pamphlets and encyclopedia essays for Charles Scribner and Greenwood Press. His scholarly interests include researching the beginnings of Hawaii’s kindergarten movement.
Al is the recipient of numerous grants from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Hawaii Humanities Council, the New Mexico Council for the Humanities, The Liberty Fund of Indianapolis, The Hoover Presidential Library Association and the Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge). His scholarship and public service have been recognized by Marquis’ Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World. He is a recipient of the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Chaminade University in 2013.
In 2012, Al Castle was appointed by Governor Abercrombie to represent the business and philanthropy sector on the State of Hawaii Early Learning Advisory Board and was confirmed for a second term on that body by the state senate in 2014. As a tireless advocate for high quality universal pre-k, he also serves as on the executive committee of the National Early Education Funders Collaborative in Washington, D.C., and was an advisor to the White House Early Education Policy Team under President Obama. The Collaborative planned the December 10, 2014 White House Summit on Early Education during which President Obama announced $250,000,000 in foundation pledges from the group to early education as well as millions of additional dollars for early education from wealthy individuals. $750,000,000 in new federal grants to Early Head Start, Head Start and pre-school expansion across the country was also announced by President Obama. Hawaii’s charter schools won nearly $15,000,000 for preschool expansion from the USDOE as part of that competition.
Al has long been a link between Hawaii and several mainland foundations such as California’s William G. Irwin Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Packard Foundation. He is a trustee of the Saint Louis, Missouri-based Pettus Foundation and the Martha Scott Trimble Charitable Trust in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
A founder of the Weinberg Fellows program over two decades ago, he continues to assist the Hawaii program. He is also a founder of the Castle Colleagues program for site
directors of early childhood centers. He has taught history and philosophy, as well as non-profit management, at such colleges as the University of New Mexico, the University of San Francisco and California State University, San Marcos.
Al served as National Chair of the Council on Foundation’s Family Foundations Conference in 2006 and is Chair of the Keiki Funders Network in Hawaii.
For a list of Mr. Castle’s published work, click here.


Oleg Solodar has served as the part-time office manager of the Foundation since 2001.