ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2010
Linda Lingle

Linda Lingle

Governor

State of Hawaii

As Hawai‘i’s chief executive, Governor Linda Lingle is leading the direction and effort to meet the challenges of the 21st century and capitalize on new opportunities during a pivotal and exciting time of change in the history of our state and world.

She has provided a clear vision for the fundamental transformation of Hawai‘i’s economy through the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative and the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, both of which will make Hawai‘i a global leader in the 21st-century economy.

At the two-year mark of the Hawai`i Clean Energy Initiative, the state is on target to meet its ambitious goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030 and has achieved success in several key areas, including:

  • Establishing the policy and regulatory framework that allows the markets to function and to invest in and develop clean energy resources.
  • Collaborating with the state's utility companies to increase renewable energy generation and integrating renewable energy into utility grids.
  • Developing and implementing clean and renewable energy products and practices. Hawai`i now leads the nation in solar water heating, which accounted for more than a third of all systems installed in 2008. In addition, in 2008, Hawai`i residents used 8 percent less energy per-capita in 2008 than 2007, marking the sharpest decline in recent years.

In addition, during this legislative session, the Governor has proposed a new program called Hawai`i Clean Energy Investment Bonds.

Similar programs, which already exist in 15 states, assist residential and commercial property owners with the upfront costs of installing clean energy systems or energy efficiency upgrades by allowing them to borrow the money from the state and then repay the loans over a period of years via an annual assessment on their real property tax bill.

Governor Lingle has complemented these long-term initiatives with her comprehensive five-point action plan to improve current economic conditions for Hawai‘i residents and businesses. The plan is made up of tested strategies that will create jobs and stimulate the economy, including the ongoing modernization of Hawai‘i’s infrastructure.

Throughout her time in office, Governor Lingle maintained a commitment to improving the quality of life for Hawai`i residents. Her Administration has improved the quality of mental health services - raising the state's rating from 51st in the nation to 11.

The Lingle-Aiona Administration also continues to fulfill commitments to Native Hawaiians, with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands awarding more leases to beneficiaries over the past seven years than in the trust's previous 80-year history.

Governor Lingle has also initiated major upgrades to our airports, harbors, public schools, highways, state parks, hospitals and other public facilities. As part of her proactive five-point plan, the state accelerated more than $1.5 billion in public construction projects to stimulate the economy and accelerate job growth.

In addition, the protection of Hawai‘i’s natural resources has been a major focus for Governor Lingle as she works to preserve the unique aspects of life in our islands. Through public-private partnerships, the state has played a vital role in the preservation of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest on the Big Island, and Pūpūkea-Paumalū and Waimea Valley on O‘ahu. Governor Lingle has also spearheaded efforts to protect the undeveloped land on the Turtle Bay property on O‘ahu’s North Shore.

Recognizing the importance of global partnerships in an increasingly technological and interconnected world, Governor Lingle has been proactive in forging links with our Asia-Pacific neighbors. A notable accomplishment in this area includes the 2007 creation of a State Partnership Program (SPP) between the Hawai‘i National Guard and Indonesia, which improves regional security and disaster preparedness.

In addition to Indonesia, Governor Lingle has visited China, Japan, Taiwan, Israel, the Philippines and South Korea to form partnerships in education, trade, tourism, business and emergency preparedness. As commander-in-chief of the Hawai‘i National Guard, she has also visited Hawai‘i troops in Iraq, Japan and Korea, and makes it a point to reflect on their tremendous sacrifices at her many speaking engagements.

Governor Lingle took office on December 2, 2002, committed to bringing about a “New Beginning” for the people of Hawai‘i by making state government more open, accountable and responsive. Her tremendous success at accomplishing these goals and revitalizing Hawai‘i led to re-election for a second four-year term in November 2006 by the largest margin of victory in any gubernatorial race in state history, which included winning all of Hawai‘i’s 51 house precincts.

Governor Lingle is the sixth elected Governor of Hawai‘i. She is the first mayor, first woman and first person of Jewish ancestry to be Governor. She is also the first Republican to lead the Aloha State in more than 40 years. In November 2005, she was awarded the Diversity Best Practices Award for Leadership in Government – the first such award for a state’s chief executive.

She first served the people of Hawai‘i in 1980 as a member of the Maui County Council, and went on to complete five two-year terms, three representing the island of Moloka‘i. In 1990, she was elected Mayor of Maui County and served two full four-year terms. Under her leadership, job growth was faster in Maui County than anywhere else in the state.

Governor Lingle was born on June 4, 1953 and is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. When she was 12, her family moved to Southern California, where she attended public schools and graduated from Birmingham High School. She relocated to Hawai‘i in 1975 after graduating cum laude with a journalism degree from California State University, Northridge. In 1976, she founded and began serving as publisher of the Moloka‘i Free Press.

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