Leila's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Hawaii Roadtrip

LEILA HOKULANI KAAEKUAHIWI POUSIMA

Natural Resource Policy Management Specialist
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

“Being able to be in Hawaii, in my home, with my community, and working on initiatives to make all of those things better is everything to me.”

INTERESTS:

Law Environment & Nature

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Dedication Opportunity Passion Character Values Doubt Self-Reflection Exploration Support & Encouragement Struggle Choices Goals

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

BIOGRAPHY:

  • She always wanted to go into law, and she always wanted to give back to her community.
  • In high school, she did some volunteering with environmental groups, and she also had a deep love of Hawaiian culture.
  • She’d planned to just do a pre-law program, but an advisor encouraged her to talk to a Hawaiian studies counselor.
  • They worked out a Hawaiian studies course for her, with a focus on Hawaiian politics and natural resource management.
  • She then went to law school at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
  • She became one of very few people in the world to earn a certificate in Native Hawaiian law.
  • After school, she started at NOAA; she works on the Marine National Monument Program, which oversees four national monuments.
  • The four monuments protect over 330,000 square miles of water, and diverse coral, fish and seabird populations.

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