Professor Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa is the Vice-Chancellor of Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
Damon is a prize-winning scholar, specialising in history, society, and politics in New Zealand and the other Pacific Islands.
After obtaining his MA with First Class Honours at the University of Auckland, he completed his doctoral studies at Oxford University. He is the author and editor of many books and academic articles including Island Time: New Zealand’s Pacific Futures and Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage and the Victorian British Empire, which won the international Ernest Scott Prize in 2012. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and currently serves on their Council.
Previously, he has been Pro Vice-Chancellor Pacific at the University of Auckland, where he was also Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa (School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies) at the University of Auckland. He worked at the University of Michigan for ten years, including in roles as Director of the Asian Pacific Islander American Studies Program and as an Associate Professor in the History Department and Program in American Culture.
Damon retains strong connections to many of Auckland’s communities, especially in South Auckland. A passionate teacher and educator, he has been an innovator at the interface between schools and universities and has been an important leader and supporter of the work of schools, in pedagogy, curriculum and governance leadership roles in education, research, and community.