McNeff has been with MEO for more than a decade and is currently serving as its interim CEO.
McNeff will replace outgoing Director Sandy K. Baz, who accepted a position as Mayor Alan Arakawa’s budget director.
“Lyn was selected by a unanimous vote of the directors,” said MEO Board President Scott Sakakihara.
“She is a proven leader who understands MEO’s programs and culture. We are very pleased to welcome her as our new CEO.”
McNeff first joined MEO in 1993 as the Head Start education/disabilities coordinator. She was promoted to Head Start director in 1995 and in 2005 was promoted to MEO chief programs officer.
As Head Start director, she led the department through three successful federal monitoring reviews and acted as interim grantee, providing oversight for the Kauai County Head Start program.
During her tenure, MEO Head Start was named one of 15 nationally recognized programs throughout the United States and earned accreditation through the National Education Association for the Education of Young Children.
This was the first and only accredited Head Start program in the State of Hawaii.
“Personally, I always knew that Lyn would take that natural step as a leader,” Baz said. “She has all the knowledge required to be sitting in the CEO’s chair. I’d like to thank her for all her help over the years and look forward to seeing her lead MEO to new heights.”
“I’d like to thank the board for the opportunity to continue the good work that Sandy has done and to build upon his accomplishments,” McNeff said.
“These are tough times because of the economy, and more people than ever need MEO’s help... we will be there to help them.”