Kim Coco Iwamoto

Kim Coco Iwamoto
Commissioner, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission

Kim Coco Iwamoto is a commissioner on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve the four year term until 2016.

Iwamoto previously served two terms with the Hawaii Board of Education. Having first been elected in November of 2006, she was the highest ranking openly transgender elected official in the United States and the first openly transgender official to win statewide office. With a 25% higher vote total than the 2006 election, Iwamoto cruised to her second term in 2010. During her tenure, Iwamoto also served on the Career & Technical Education Coordinating Advisory Council, the Hawai’i Teachers Standard Board, the Safe School Community Advisory Committee, and the Hawai’i 3-5 Transition Task Force.

Prior to her election, Iwamoto was Managing Attorney at Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii and a volunteer at Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Before becoming an attorney, Iwamoto interned at the Hawai`i Intermediate Court of Appeals, the New Mexico Supreme Court, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the Hawai`i Civil Rights Commission.

Iwamoto has won many awards for her work in social justice, including the White House’s Harvey Milk: Champion of Change Award and the Hawai’I Friends of Civil Rights’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award.