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Russell A. Kavalhuna

President, Henry Ford College

Russell A. Kavalhuna joined Henry Ford College as the institution’s sixth president in July 2018. The role unites his passions for public service, education, and institutional leadership.

He was previously the executive director of Flight Operations at the Western Michigan University (WMU) College of Aviation, the nation’s third-largest collegiate aviation program. Prior to his position at WMU, Kavalhuna was a federal prosecutor and a commercial airline captain. In 2018, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s transition team selected Kavalhuna for consultation on higher-education policy. In 2018, former governor Rick Snyder appointed Kavalhuna to Michigan’s 21st Century Talent Creation Subcommittee.

Kavalhuna is currently serving a fourth term on the statewide board for all aviation infrastructure spending and rulemaking, the Michigan Aeronautics Commission. Former governor Jennifer Granholm appointed him to the Aeronautics Commission in 2009, and Snyder reappointed him in 2013 and 2017.

His awards and honors include the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, the ATF National Honor Award for Prosecution of Organized Crime, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Holland Police Department, and being named as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Kavalhuna earned his undergraduate degree in aviation science from Western Michigan University. He earned his Juris Doctor from WMU Cooley Law School.

Kavalhuna, his wife Courtney, and their children are proud residents of Dearborn.