Lieutenant Governor Luke
Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke (she/her) is the 16th lieutenant governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, the third woman to hold the office, and the highest-ranking Korean American official in the U.S.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, she immigrated to Honolulu at the age of nine with her parents and siblings. She attended Queen Kaʻahumanu Elementary School where her 5th-grade teacher helped her learn English. She later graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where she served as one of the few female presidents of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi, marking her introduction to public service. Following her undergraduate degree, she continued her education at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Sylvia was first elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 1998, where she served until 2022. During her twenty-four-year tenure in the State House, she had many roles, most notably as Chair of the Finance Committee where she developed a reputation for bringing transparency and accountability to the State budget for over a decade.
Sylvia has long been a supporter of women’s rights, gender equity, civil rights, and assistance for immigrant services. As Finance Chair, she played a crucial role in ensuring essential funding for criminal justice reform for female inmates, tax equity for working families, domestic violence survivors’ services, and care for our aging population.
Throughout her career in public service, Sylvia has been recognized for her advocacy and leadership by many organizations, including Hawaii Women Lawyers, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Technology Trade Association, Korean American Coalition, AARP Hawaii, Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau, Friends of the Library of Hawaii, and Humane Society of the United States.
Lieutenant Governor Luke is leading Connect Kākou, the state’s initiative to expand high-speed internet. She is also spearheading Ready Keiki, the state’s multifaceted plan to provide universal access to preschool, ensuring all Hawaiʻi children are ready for kindergarten and their futures while creating economic stability for local families.
Sylvia is a wife, mother, dog mom, and former practicing attorney in Honolulu.