Kelli Sunabe

Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs


Kelli Sunabe is a Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in International Relations joint degree candidate at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Kelli graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business & Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design & Merchandising. She has held several leadership roles in both of her colleges, including President of the Inter-Business Council and during her time as a Shidler Global Leader scholar. She was team captain of UH Mānoa’s first all-women team to win first place in Northeastern University CUIBE International Business Case Competition.

Before coming to Maxwell, Kelli served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a vocational college in China’s rural Sichuan province. She launched her school’s first Business Case Study program in collaboration with colleagues, local Sichuan entrepreneurs, and former professors from UH Mānoa to develop a comprehensive six-week curriculum combined with company visits in the capital city.

As an undergraduate student, Kelli participated in an Executive MBA Asian field study summer program that toured factories and companies in Japan, China, and Vietnam. She saw first-hand the disparity in labor conditions between the various countries. This experience solidified her career aspirations to advocate for ethical business practices and promote humanitarian principles. After graduating from Maxwell, Kelli plans to pursue a career in international labor, ensuring that American companies apply ethical standards domestically and abroad.