Mayor-elect Bryan Baptiste has named Lani Nakazawa, a Kaua’i-born attorney who has spent most of her career practicing law in Honolulu, as county attorney.
Nakazawa currently works as the Health Branch Administrator for the Hawaii Insurance Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs.
Between 1990 and 2000 she was the Chief Researcher and Legal Counsel for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Prior to that, she worked for ten years as Counsel and Regulatory Matters Administrator for GTE Hawaiian Tel.
“Lani has very impressive credentials and an excellent reputation. She
brings a wealth of knowledge in regulatory matters, utility issues, employee benefits, federal grants and contract administration,” stated Baptiste. “I’m delighted to bring this Kapa’a High School graduate home to serve our community.”
Nakazawa received her Bachelors of Arts from Stanford University, during which time she received a Carnegie Undergraduate Scholarship for Japanese Studies. She earned her Master of Arts degree from Sophia University in Tokyo, and her law degree from the University of Hawaii W. S. Richardson School of Law in 1976.
“I’m honored to be able to support Mayor-elect Baptiste’s vision for open and community-centered government,” stated Nakazawa. “I have worked extensively with seniors, consumers, and small businesses, and am looking forward to putting that experience to work on behalf of the people of Kaua’i.”
Early in her career, Nakazawa worked as a law clerk for Associate Supreme Court Justice Thomas Ogata, as a staff attorney for Hawaii Labor Relations Board, and as an arbitrator of public sector disputes between the state and counties and the United Public Workers (UPW), the Hawaii Government Employees’ Association (HGEA), and the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO). She is fluent in Japanese.
Nakazawa is married and has two grown children. Her parents reside in Kapa’a.