family portrait

Lisa with husband Jim, and children Jesse and Max.


Lisa (left in the pink muʻumuʻu) with parents and sisters Debbie and Julie, 1983.


Lisa grew up in Kailua, graduating from Kailua Intermediate School and Kalaheo High School. Lisaʻs parents instilled a sense of purpose to help others and protect the environment - her mother Ann is a social worker and her father Gerry is an ecologist (both still living and working in Kailua).

Lisa wanted to learn how to alleviate poverty and enhance health, which led her to earning a BA from Pitzer College and Waseda University (Tokyo), a Masterʻs in Public Policy at Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Public Health at Columbia University. She worked abroad for many years running a child nutrition program in Guatemala, a youth sexuality education program in Singapore, and working on HIV prevention in South East Asia, among other things.

When Lisa had her two sons, she wanted to return home so they could grow up in paradise, as she had. She worked part-time at the John A. Burns School of Medicine UH Mānoa in the Center on HIV while her children were young. Lisa also relished her role as a soccer mom, paddling mom, and getting her sons as hooked on surfing as she is. Lisaʻs husband Jim, an investment professional, has devoted his free time to soccer coaching, serving on several boards, including Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, Le Jardin Academy and Honolulu Zoo Society.


Lisa was alarmed by the changes she was experiencing on the Windward side - increased homelessness, proliferation of vacation rentals, monster houses, commercial tours invading neighborhoods and taking over public park space, erosion of hiking trails, pollution in the ocean, and traffic congestion so severe it was a safety hazard and made it impossible for locals to get where they needed to go.

For over a decade Lisa has worked hard, along with other community members, to find solutions to these problems. She has spent countless hours organizing, meeting officials, and testifying at hearings. She served on the Kailua Neighborhood Board, and the Lanikai Association as an additional way to help. There have been successes along the way - regulations passed to curb commercial activities in our parks, to curb expansion of vacation rentals in our residential neighborhoods, and to manage parking and increase fines for parking in the bike lane.

aids walk

UH Medical School, AIDS Walk 2004

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Press conference at State Capitol


Lisa has consistently supported legislation to shift Hawaii to 100% local, renewable energy. She has organized others to support legislation and collaborated with legislators and Blue Planet Foundation in these efforts.Lisa is a founding Officer of Trees for Honoluluʻs Future which promotes planting of trees in urban areas across Oahu.

Lisa founded the nonprofit Healthy Climate Communities in 2017. This included starting a community forestry project in partnership with DLNR on the watershed of Hamakua Marsh.  Thousands of local students and community members have connected with the ʻāina as they plant and care for the native forest. Lisa also conducted workshops for thousands of students at public and private schools across Oʻahu on climate change and conservation.  She has worked with teachers to develop place-based science curriculum on Climate Change that meets DOE standards and has trained over 100 teachers to use it themselves.


Students planting a Koa seedling that they grew in science class

Lisa teaching an environmental workshop.


Lisa organized an Arbor Day Poster Exhibit each year.


Lisa promoting 100% renewable energy with Blue Planet Foundation and her son, niece and nephews


Lisa hosting Enchanted Lakes Elementary students at State Wildlife Sanctuary Hamakua Marsh