Categorized | Elections, News

Kiaania running for U.S. House seat


Esther Puakela Kiaaina has announced she is running to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Esther Kiaaina

“Now, more than ever, we face uncertain challenges that require strong, proven leaders. We need someone who will keep Hawaii relevant in federal budgetary and policy priorities, but never fails to embrace and respect all that makes our islands special: our history, our cultures, our values, and our aloha,” she said. “I have the experience necessary to get things done in Washington, D.C., I am deeply committed to public service, and I have a long history of advocating for issues important to the people of Hawaii.”

Kiaaina said she lives aloha by respecting her Hawaiian cultural heritage and looks for responsible, innovative, and cultural-based solutions to the economic, social, and environmental challenges that impact Hawaii and the Pacific Region.

Kiaaina has more than 20 years in public policy and community experience in Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and the Pacific Region, having served as chief advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, chief of staff to Congressman Ed Case, chief of staff and legislative director to Congressman Robert Underwood of Guam, and legislative assistant to Sen. Daniel Akaka.

A graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Kiaaina received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California and her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

She also attended graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Getting to Know Kiaaina:

* Currently residing in Nanakuli, Oahu, on Hawaiian homestead land that belonged to late maternal grandmother, Louise Hattie Cathcart Talolo

* Daughter of Lorelei Haunani Kiaaina (formerly Anahu), Molokai High School ʻ48, and the late Melvin Leialoha Kiaaina, Farrington High School ʻ48.

* Youngest of Seven Siblings: Keaolamauloa “Duke” Kiaaina, Michelle Mamo Kiaaina (deceased), Melvin “Kimo” Kiaaina, Jr.; Nadine Nomura; Nola Mento; and Ricky Pa.

Hawaii Work and Community Experience:

* Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 2009-present
Land Asset Manager for the Kamehameha SchoolsÊ» Land Assets Division, 2007-2009
* Member, Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club, 2006-present
* Member, Ka Ohana O Kalaupapa, 2006-present
* Member, Native Hawaiian Bar Association, 2008-present
* Member, Chaminade University Native Hawaiian Advisory Committee, 2008-2009

— Find out more:

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