President Joe Biden today nominated state Attorney General Clare Connors to be the next U.S. Attorney for Hawaii.
Connors, who has served in her current position since 2019, was one of several lawyers Biden nominated today to run U.S. attorney’s offices across the country, according to the Associated Press.
If confirmed, the nominees will run the federal prosecutors’ offices in Rhode Island, North Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Vermont and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to Hawaii. They would include several historic firsts, including the first Black female attorneys to lead their districts, the Biden administration said.
In a joint statement, U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono said, “Clare Connors is an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii. Clare’s broad experience, including as Hawaii’s current Attorney General, makes her an exceptionally well-qualified nominee to fill this important vacancy.”
The statement said Schatz and Hirono has recommended Connors for the position.
“With her strong background in public service and her proven commitment to justice, we are confident she will serve the people of Hawaii well. We were proud to recommend her to the president, and we look forward to working with our colleagues to ensure a speedy confirmation process,” the senators said.
Before serving as Hawaii’s attorney general, Connors was a lawyer with Honolulu’s Davis Levin Livingston.
In 2015, then-President Barack Obama nominated Connors to be a federal judge in Hawaii. She was to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court created by Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s retirement. While unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, her nomination became ensnared in party politics, and she was one of several Obama appointees who never received a vote before the full Senate.
If confirmed for the federal position, Connors would replace acting U.S. Attorney for Hawaii Judith Philips, who took over after Kenji Price resigned in February once the Biden administration took office.
Connors, 47, began her legal career in Hawaii clerking for federal District Judge David Ezra and was an assistant U.S. attorney in Hawaii from 2004 to 2011. She also worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division.
Connors received her law degree from Harvard Law School. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees from Yale College: one in ethics, politics and economics and another in international studies. She graduated from Punahou School.