“I’m running because I want to bring my 25 years of public policy experience to help fulfill OHA’s mission of improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians.”

- ESTHER Kiaʻāina

Esther’s Experience

Esther has an unmatched depth of policy experience that will benefit all Native Hawaiians. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Pacific Basin Development Council, where she helps address economic and social development in the Pacific Islands. Prior to this, she worked for President Barack Obama, serving as Assistant Secretary of the Interior. Esther’s background also includes serving as First Deputy at Hawaiʻi’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and working for Senator Daniel Akaka and Congressmen Ed Case and Robert Underwood.


Why OHA Matters

OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) is charged with advancing programs and initiatives that improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians. OHA touches the lives of all Hawaiʻi, from our environment to our schools to quality of life. After the devastating Kilauea eruption, OHA distributed emergency funds to victims affected by the lava flow. To help our students, OHA directed $3 million to Hawaiian focused charter schools and continues to provide higher education scholarships.