One of my privileges as Governor of Hawai‘i is meeting and working with many inspirational women – whether high school girls from the Big Island competing in robotics, collegiate athletes at the University of Hawai‘i, the eight women on my cabinet, or the extraordinary women I have crossed paths with during my trips to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and Israel.
I first decided to host an international women’s conference during a trip to Japan several years ago. Since then, I have hosted four annual conferences that have increased in scope and participation with each passing year. Our fifth annual conference is taking place Wednesday, September 24, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Waikīkī Hotel and Resort. I hope you will visit www.hawaii.gov/gov/iwlc/2008 to learn more and register.
The theme of this year’s conference is sharing Perspectives, Reflections and Visions for a Global Community. Our inspirational lineup of speakers from nine different nations embodies this theme. These women – including U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney – are actively making a difference in Hawai‘i, the U.S. and around the world.
Our other speakers include Captain Vernice Armour, the first female African-American combat pilot in military history; Chief Cathy Lanier, the first-ever female chief of police for the District of Columbia; Moira Cameron, who was appointed as the first female Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London in 2007; and Aduei Riak, a paralegal in Boston who was one of the 4,000 Sudanese refugees as a child. Attendees will also have a chance to hear video messages from prominent leaders such as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
With education being an important focus for my Administration, I am also excited that this year’s conference will feature a panel discussion with education leaders from Finland, Uganda, China, Japan, Hawai‘i and the mainland U.S.
I know that Hawai‘i’s neighbor island residents can offer valuable perspectives to this year’s conference. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the experiences of other women and to share your own experiences with contemporaries and the many students – our next generation of Hawai‘i leaders – who will be in attendance.
As we do year-round, my office continues to value your feedback on issues affecting our state and my Administration’s initiatives. With the 2008 legislative session now complete, members of my Administration are already working to develop initiatives for 2009 that will improve the quality of life for Hawai‘i residents. The preservation of what makes Hawai‘i unique and the transformation of our economy to one based on the innovation capacity of our people will remain key focuses.
Please send my office your input at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website at www.hawaii.gov/gov, where you can learn more about my Administration’s initiatives and sign up for my weekly e-newsletter.
Governor Linda Lingle