Lea Hong has been our Hawaiʻi state director since 2006. During Lea’s time as state director, our Hawaiʻi office has established an Aloha ʻĀina program which protects land that reconnects Native Hawaiians and others to Hawaiian culture; a Sustainable Hawaiʻi program which protects food, forests, and sources of drinking water; and most recently, a Parks for People Program with a pilot project at ʻAʻala Park. Notable land protection projects completed during Lea’s tenure include the Ka ʻIwi Coast Mauka Lands, Kahuku Kawela Forever (Turtle Bay Makai), and Lands of Līhuʻe (Galbraith Estate).
Before joining us, Lea chaired the environmental and cultural resource law practice group at the Honolulu law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (now Dentons), and worked for the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. Lea is a graduate of Leilehua High School, Rice University, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i, where she serves on the Friends of the Law School Board and has taught classes on environmental litigation, environmental regulatory compliance, and conservation transactions. She has received a number of recognitions which she credits to the communities with whom she works, including Honolulu Magazine’s Islander of the Year (Environment), the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Hawai‘i Women Lawyers Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year. She is from Wahiawā on the island of Oʻahu. In her spare time, Lea enjoys surfing, hiking, and dog agility with her two mini-labradoodles, Milo and Ogo.