In April 2021, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, adult services assistant manager, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, California was elected 2021-2022 president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA). Pelayo-Lozada is the first Emerging Leader and first Native Hawaiian to be elected ALA President; she was part of the 2011 Emerging Leaders class.

She completed a term as an ALA executive board member (2017-2020) and is currently a councilor-at-large (2012-2015, 2015-2018, 2020-2023). She is an active member of the 1876 Club, the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (Core), the Public Library Association (PLA), the Rainbow Round Table, the Social Responsibilities Round Table, and the Sustainability Round Table. She also is a member of several ALA Professional affiliates, including the Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), American Indian Library Association (AILA), and The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). She has held an ALA membership for more than 13 years. 

Additional leadership roles include chair of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (2018-2020) and the ODLOS Advisory Committee (2016-2017). Pelayo-Lozada currently serves as APALA Executive Director (2019-2022) and is a past president of APALA (2016-2017). She is the chair of the Palos Verdes (Rolling Estates, California) Library District's BUILD Team, focusing on diversity and racial equity, and a Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) board member (2012-present).

Pelayo-Lozada holds an MLIS and a BA in sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and an AA in philosophy from El Camino College, Torrance, California.