June 26, 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted today to confirm Hawaii’s Esther Kiaaina as Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). Kiaaina was confirmed unanimously by voice vote. Hirono had previously introduced Kiaaina’s nomination during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing last November.

“The Senate’s overwhelming support for Esther’s nomination speaks to her strong qualifications to serve as DOI Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs,” Hirono said. “I have no doubt she will serve with distinction and make Hawaii proud.”

Prior to her nomination, Esther Kiaaina served as the First Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the State of Hawaii, a position she has held since 2012. Previously, she served as Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from 2009 to 2011 and from 2007 to 2009, she was a Land Asset Manager for the Kamehameha Schools Land Asset Division. Kiaaina served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Ed Case from 2003 to 2007. From 1999 to 2003, she was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Congressman Robert Underwood. Kiaaina served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Daniel Akaka from 1990 to 1999. Kiaaina received a B.A. from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.