July 10, 2009, 3:52 PM HST · Updated July 10, 4:06 PM

President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate Florence T. Nakakuni as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii.  Nakakuni becomes the first female to be nominated for the post.  The 57-year-old federal prosecutor has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the past 24 years.

She presently serves as Chief of the Drug and Organized Crime Section, a position she has held since May 2005.

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nakakuni worked as a counsel at the Navy Office of General Counsel in Pearl Harbor.  She spent two years as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Information and Privacy Appeals at the Justice Department.

Nakakuni received a B.A. and B.Ed. from University of Hawaii – Manoa (1975) and graduated from the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law (1978).


Following law school, Nakakuni was hired as a law clerk for Justice Thomas Ogata of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Nakakuni was among a list of six intended nominations announced by President Obama today.

Others include: Dennis Burke, District of Arizona; Steven Dettelbach, Northern District of Ohio; Brendan Johnson, District of South Dakota; Karen Loeffler, District of Alaska; and Carter M. Stewart, Southern District of Ohio.

“Through their dedication and accomplishments in both public service and private practice, these fine attorneys have distinguished themselves as some of the best and brightest their profession has to offer,” President Obama said.  “I am honored to nominate them as United States Attorneys and know that they will faithfully and tirelessly pursue justice on behalf of the American people.”

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye responded to the nomination saying he will work toward a speedy Senate confirmation.  “I have no doubt that her (Nakakuni’s) vast legal experience will serve us well,” said Inouye.

Fellow U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka said, “Over her long, distinguished career in the Hawaii U.S. Attorney’s office, Florence Nakakuni has proven that she can handle even the most difficult cases competently and with distinction.  She received her legal education in Hawaii, knows the islands well, and is motivated to help our communities.  I am confident she will do an excellent job as the US Attorney for the District of Hawaii and I intend to fully support her confirmation.”

(By Wendy Osher © 2009; Posted @ 3:50 p.m. 7/10/09)



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