Mazie Keiko Hirono learned lifelong lessons of independence and self-reliance growing up on her grandparents’ rice farm in Fukushima, Japan. When she was nearly eight years old, her mother Laura made the courageous decision to escape her abusive marriage and take Mazie and her brothers to the United States in search of a better life. When they arrived in Hawaii, Mazie spoke no English and her mother worked low wage jobs with no job security or health benefits.
Mazie first ran for and won a seat in the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 1980, where she earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for consumers. She was elected Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor in 1994. While she lost her race for governor in 2002, the lessons learned from that experience enabled her to win the election to represent Hawaii’s Second Congressional District in 2006. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, making her Hawaii’s first female senator and the country’s first Asian-American woman senator.
Hirono serves on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She is also Chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower.