Linda Lingle is a member of BPC’s Governors’ Council. She served as governor of Hawaii from 2002 to 2010.
Lingle took office in December 2002, committed to bringing about a “New Beginning” for Hawaii by making state government more transparent, responsive, and accountable. She was re-elected to a second four-year term in November 2006 by the largest margin of victory in any gubernatorial race in state history.
She was the first Republican governor of Hawaii in more than 40 years. She was also the first former mayor, first woman, first neighbor island resident, and first person of Jewish ancestry to hold the position. In 2005, she was awarded the Diversity Best Practices Award for Leadership in Government—the first such award for a state’s chief executive.
She served from 1980 to 1990 on the Maui County Council, including six years representing the island of Molokai. In 1990, she was elected mayor of Maui County and served two four-year terms.
Lingle is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She moved to Hawaii in 1975 after graduating cum laude with a journalism degree from California State University, Northridge. In 1976, she founded and served as editor and publisher of the Moloka‘i Free Press.