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Tuesday, January 4, 2022
New Ethics Comm Exec Director a Pro-Rail Corporate Lawyer and Lobbyist
By News Release @ 4:19 AM :: 2501 Views :: Environment, Ethics, Rail


News Release from Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission, January 3, 2022 

The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission selected Robert D. Harris as its Executive Director and General Counsel. Harris begins this new role today, January 3, 2022.

Harris is a proud graduate of Kalaheo High School and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry/Environmental Science. He then attended the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law, where he graduated cum laude and served as an editor of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review. Following law school, Harris served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr. (ret.) of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court. Harris then worked in private practice with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, where he assisted in a wide range of cases involving environmental, insurance, and complex commercial litigation. While working at Damon Key, Harris also taught appellate writing and advocacy as an adjunct professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Harris then served as Director of the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, where he directed policy 2 initiatives and helped manage the 8,000-volunteer member organization. For the past eight years, Harris has served as the Director of Public Policy at Sunrun; during that time, he oversaw regulatory and other legal proceedings for the solar provider and was responsible for public policy advocacy in Hawai‘i and California.

Ethics Commission Chair Melinda Wood stated: “Mr. Harris has the right mix of public policy, litigation, and managerial experience to excel in this role. He additionally demonstrates the needed interpersonal skills, temperament, and perspective for this position, along with a willingness to consider competing points of view on complicated ethics matters. My fellow Commissioners and I are very pleased with this appointment and we look forward to working with Mr. Harris as the Commission’s Executive Director and General Counsel.”

Harris stated, “I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this role, and I am grateful to the Commission for placing its trust in me. I will do everything I can to help the Commission fulfill its mission of promoting integrity within state government.”

The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission’s mission is to preserve the public’s confidence in government by promoting high ethical standards among public servants. More information on the Ethics Commission and its work can be found at or by following the Commission on Twitter @HawaiiEthics.



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