Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar was born in Santa Maria, California, where his Mexican-Hawaiian father and Scottish-Irish, French-Italian mother raised two mixed-race children who learned to code switch early and navigate walking in multiple worlds. His moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy) connects his ʻohana (family) to kūpuna (ancestors) who hail from Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi, and Tahiti. He earned his Ph.D. in Indigenous Politics from the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2014. A former Ford Fellow and Mellon-Hawaiʻi Fellow, from 2015-2017 Dr. Casumbal-Salazar was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. His forthcoming book—entitled First Light: Indigenous Struggle and Astronomy on Mauna a Wākea—examines the controversy over the Thirty Meter Telescope and the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea.