Hironao Okahana

Hironao Okahana

Hironao Okahana

Adjunct Faculty

Higher Education Policy, Finance, & Data; Diversity & Inclusiveness in Graduate Education; Career Pathways & Labor Market Outcomes of Master’s and Doctoral Education

Dr. Hironao Okahana is a higher education researcher, currently working for the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) as Associate Vice President, Research and Policy Analysis. He studies master’s and doctoral education with particular emphasis on enrollment trends, diversity and inclusiveness, as well as, career pathways and labor market outcomes.

At CGS, Dr. Okahana serves a co-principal investigator/research director for the “Understanding PhD Career Pathways for Program Improvement (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant #31600612, NSF/DGE grant #1661272)” project, multi-campus efforts to better understand career preferences and outcomes of doctoral students and alumni across different fields of study. He also is the project director for two national surveys: CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees and CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey. Previously, he was a co-PI for the “Completion and Attrition in AGEP and non-AGEP Institutions (NSF/HRD grant #1138814)” and “Labor Market Outcomes of STEM Master’s Education (NSF/NCSES grant #1538769)” projects. He also was a 2017 recipient of the Association for Institutional Research/AccessLex Institute Research Fellowship (AIR grant #RG15556).


As an expert, Dr. Okahana has served on several technical review panels and expert panels for national survey projects. He also has delivered invited talks on the state and implications of U.S. graduate education at several convenings and meetings organized by including, but not limited to: Association for Schools and Programs of Public Health, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, NAGAP: Graduate Enrollment Management Professionals, National Association for Graduate and Professional Students, and Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Okahana earned his PhD in Education and MPP in public policy from University of California, Los Angeles, and his undergraduate degrees from California State University, Long Beach. He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Saleha Bholat, who is Associate Dean of Arts at the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College, and their toddler son.

Selected Publications

Okahana, H. (forthcoming). Suggestions for improving the IPEDS collection of graduate students data. (NPEC 2018). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.

Okahana, H., & Zhou, E. (2018). Graduate enrollment and degrees: 2007 to 2017. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

Okahana, H., Klein, C., Allum, J., & Sowell, R. (2018). STEM doctoral completion of underrepresented minority students: Challenges and opportunities for improving participation in the doctoral workforce. Innovative Higher Education, 43(4), 237-255. doi: 10.1007/s10755-018-9425-3.

Okahana, H., & Zhou, E.  (2018). International graduate applications and enrollment: Fall 2017. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

Courses Taught

CTCH792: Topical Issues in Higher Education Policy (Special Topics, Summer 2015)

HE722: Organization and Administration in Higher Education (Fall 2016 & Fall 2017)

HE792: Funding Issues, Priorities, and Strategies (Special Topics, Summer 2018)