Andrew Aoki is a civic and social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the principles of social justice and democracy. He works with individuals and organizations as a facilitator, strategist, problem solver, and communicator. Andrew began his career as a counselor, manager, researcher, and writer. He has run youth development programs for the YMCA of Honolulu, analyzed state agencies for the Hawai‘i State Auditor, and overseen health grantmaking at the HMSA Foundation. He helped start several social enterprises including 3Point Consulting, College Connections Hawai‘i, and Kanu Hawai‘i. In recognition of his entrepreneurial public service work, Andrew received the inaugural 2002 Ho‘okele Award for nonprofit leadership.
From 2009 to 2010, Andrew was one of the chief architects of Neil Abercrombie’s successful gubernatorial campaign. He oversaw media strategy, voter organizing and mobilization, policy development, candidate preparation, and all other strategic elements of the campaign other than fundraising. He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor, helping to oversee the cabinet, designing public policy for the state, and advising the governor on all matters. Andrew resigned in October 2011 in search of more effective ways of bringing about social change in Hawai‘i and co-founded Islander Institute with this mission in mind.
Andrew’s deep love for Hawai‘i was forged in his small-kid days in Moanalua Valley on O‘ahu. He ventured from Hawai‘i to obtain degrees in political science from Stanford University, law from the University of Michigan, and public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was designated as a Kennedy Fellow for exceptional academic ability and professional distinction. For the last two decades, he has called Kailua his home along with his wife and two children.