Jill N. Tokuda, a former senator from Hawaii, was recently appointed executive director of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center.
The term Nisei refers to second-generation Japanese-Americans. Several Nisei who lived in Maui fought during World War II in Europe and the Pacific, according to Maui News.
The memorial center is a “living” memorial that was created to maintain records for future generations of the Maui Nisei veterans and to honor their sacrifice, values and heroism as lessons to those who visit the center.
Tokuda previously served as state senator from 2006 to 2018, representing areas in Oahu such as Kaneohe and Kailua. In the senate, she also chaired several committees such as the like the Ways and Means Committee and the Labor, Education, Higher Education and Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs.
“The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is happy and proud to have former state Sen. Jill Tokuda as its new executive director,” said Brian Moto, the center’s board president. “She is a person of strength and vision. We look forward to all that will be accomplished under her leadership.”
Tokuda also has a wide range of experience in the private sector, leading her own consulting business helping nonprofits and organizations, working as development director for the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii and as an adviser to U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono when she served as lieutenant governor.
She has received countless awards as a result of her professional and community service work, such as the 2017 Helathcare Association of Hawaii Achievement in Advocacy Award, the 2017 Hawaii Farm Bureau Legislator of the Year Award, the 2015 Joint Venture Education Forum Outstanding Contributor Award and the 2014 National Alliance of Public Charter Schools Champion for Charters Award.
Tokuda earned a bachelor’s in international relations degree with a minor in Japanese Studies from the George Washington University.