About Derek

On April 1, 2011 Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Derek S.K. Kawakami to the Hawaii State House as the member representing the 14th House District of Hanalei, Anahola, Kealia, Kapaa, and Waipouli. A vacancy in the 14th House District occurred when former Representative Hermina M. Morita was appointed by the Governor as the Chair of the State Public Utilities Commission.

After resigning his Kauai County Council seat on April 5th, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald administered the Oath of Office to Derek on April 6th at the twelve noon session in the House Chambers in Honolulu.

Representative Derek Kawakami’s family has a long history of public service, and is the third Kawakami to occupy a seat in the State House representing the Garden Isle. He follows the legacy of the late-Speaker Richard A. Kawakami, and Representative Bertha Kawakami

Representative Derek Kawakami is a graduate of Kauai High School and Kauai Community College. He earned his BA in Business administration from Chaminade University.

Representative Kawakami currently serves as a member of the following committees:

Energy and Environmental Protection
Water, Land, & Ocean Resources


2006  NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) Arlington, VA

  • Credentialed Cooperative Director

1997-2001 Chaminade University of Honolulu    Honolulu, HI

  • B.A., Business Administration

1996-1997 Kaua`i Community College     Lihue, HI
1991-1995 Kaua`i High School      Lihue, HI


  • County of Kaua`i Charter Commission


Lihue, HI 2007-2008
  • Kaua`i Economic Development Board

Food and Agriculture Committee Member

Lihue, HI 2007-Present
  • Kaua`i Police Activities League


Lihue, HI 2007-Present
  • Lihue Business Association


Lihue, HI 2007-Present
  • Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative

Director-Second Vice Chair

  • Executive Committee-Second Vice Chair
  • Strategic Planning Committee-Chair
  • Nominating Committee-Chair
  • Government Relations/Legislative Affairs Committee-Member
  • Policy Committee-Member
  • Credentialed Cooperative Director-Certified
Lihue, HI 2006-2008
  • Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Campaign Co-Chair

Lihue, HI 2004
  • Kiwanis


Lihue, HI 2004-Present
  • Big Save Inc.

Assistant Operations Manager

Lihue, HI 2002-Present
  • Derek’s Cool Runnings Shave Ice and Vending


Lihue, HI 1999-Present