Dr. Kent M. Keith was raised in a Marine Corps family, living in New York, Nebraska, California, Virginia, and Rhode Island before arriving in Hawaii in 1962 at the age of 14. He attended Stevenson Intermediate School and Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, graduating as student body president of Roosevelt in 1966. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in American Government from Harvard University, a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Politics from Oxford University in England, a Certificate in Japanese from Waseda University in Tokyo, a law degree from the University of Hawaii, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Southern California. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
Dr. Keith began his professional career in Hawaii in 1974. Over the years he served as an attorney for Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright; State of Hawaii Director of Planning and Economic Development; Project Manager of the Mililani Technology Park; Senior Vice President of the YMCA of Honolulu; and President of Chaminade University. From 2007 to 2012 he served as CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, based in Indiana, and from 2012 to 2015 he served as CEO of the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership (Asia), based in Singapore. He is currently the President of Pacific Rim Christian University in Honolulu.
Dr. Keith has given more than a thousand presentations in the United States and thirteen countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is known throughout the world as the author of the Paradoxical Commandments, which he first published in 1968. His book Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments became a national bestseller in the United States, and has been translated into 17 languages. He is a passionate advocate of servant leadership, and has written a number of books and articles on the topic. He is the editor of The Contemporary Servant as Leader, and author of The Case for Servant Leadership, Questions and Answers about Servant Leadership, and Servant Leadership in the Boardroom. More than 200,000 copies of his eleven books have been sold throughout the world.
Dr. Keith has been featured in The New York Times, People magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Family Circle. He was interviewed by Katie Couric on NBC’s Today Show, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and Inc.com. He has appeared on more than a hundred TV and radio programs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Australia, and Kenya.
Dr. Keith is married to Dr. Elizabeth Misao Keith, who serves as the Vice Chancellor of Hawaii Tokai International College. Kent and Elizabeth have been married for 40 years. They have three grown children.