Colleen Hanabusa named Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Visiting Scholar at UH Manoa

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lisa Shirota, (808) 956-7352
Communications Director, Social Sciences, Dean's Office
Posted: Dec 7, 2015

Colleen Hanabusa
Colleen Hanabusa

The UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences announces the selection of former U.S. congressional member Colleen Hanabusa as Lecturer and Daniel K. Inouye Visiting Scholar. The joint appointment is shared between the Public Policy Center and the Political Science Department. In this capacity, she will teach a course on the topic of civil liberties in times of crisis during the Spring 2016 semester.

Funded by the Daniel K. Inouye Institute, Hanabusa’s position reflects DKII’s and the college’s efforts to foster a climate of critical thinking among students regarding the values of freedom, fairness, integrity and democratic ideals in today’s contemporary society.

“The Daniel K. Inouye Institute (DKI) is proud to support the Lecturer and Daniel K. Inouye Visiting Scholar series. Senator would be especially pleased that Colleen would be the lecturer,” said Institute Director Jennifer Sabas. “It coincides with the DKI Distinguished Lecture series at the Library of Congress, which will feature former U.S. Senator Al Simpson and former Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta on the topic of ensuring civil liberties in times of national crisis in Spring 2016.  Simpson and Mineta befriended one another as Boy Scouts in Cody, Wyoming, each belonging to a troop on either side of barbed wire.  Mineta's troop was in the Heart Mountain internment camp.  As elected officials, Simpson would support Inouye, Mineta and others in the passage of the Japanese-American redress measure wherein our nation apologized and provided reparations to the thousands of Japanese Americans who were denied their civil liberties during WWII.   

"Defending America’s fundamental freedoms -- whether during World War II or after September 11th when Arab Americans were systematically profiled and discriminated against, to privacy and 1st Amendment protections when are nation is under siege -- is at the core of who Senator Inouye was," continued Sabas.  "Not only recognizing it, but having the courage to 'call it' and then act to correct the injustice, no matter how difficult or how long it took."

Added College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Eby Konan, “Colleen Hanabusa is a dynamic individual who, with her wealth of knowledge and experience, will challenge our students to become more forward-thinking, global citizens that will touch lives and break down barriers – much like Senator Inouye did throughout his lifetime. We are honored to have her with us."

Hanabusa is a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in labor law. She is also on the board of directors for the Hawai‘i Gas Company and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. In 1998, she was elected to represent the 21st District in the Hawai‘i State Senate, where she served as president from 2007 to 2010. She was the first woman President of the Hawai‘i State Senate and the first woman to lead either Chamber in the Hawai‘i State Legislature. In 2010, she was elected to represent Hawai‘i’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was subsequently reelected in 2012. There she served as Assistant House Whip and a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. Born in Honolulu and raised in Waianae, Hanabusa holds a BA and MA from UH Mānoa and a Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law on the UH Mānoa campus.

The Daniel K. Inouye Institute was established in 2013 to preserve Senator Inouye’s papers and tell his life story. It is dedicated to the support of STEM education, civics learning and international educational-cultural exchanges, and the establishment of a repository of the Asian American/Pacific experience.

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is engaged in a broad range of research endeavors that address fundamental questions about human behavior and the workings of local, national and international political, social, economic and cultural institutions. Its vibrant student-centered academic climate supports outstanding scholarship through internships, and active and service learning approaches to teaching that prepare students for the life-long pursuit of knowledge.