Linda Lingle

Born:June 4, 1953 (age 66)
Career:Governor of Hawaii, 2002-2011
Mayor of Maui County, 1991-1999
Maui County Council, 1980-1990
Education:B.A., California State University at Northridge

Linda Lingle was Hawaii's first female governor, serving from 2002 to 2010. She was the second Republican to serve as governor of the state.

Lingle was born June 4, 1953, St. Louis, Missouri. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to Southern California. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism cum laude from California State University, Northridge, in 1975. After college, Lingle followed her father to Hawaii where she worked as a public information officer for Hawaii Teamsters and Hotel Workers Union in Honolulu. She later moved to Molokai and founded Molokai Free Press, a community newspaper.

In 1980, Lingle was elected onto the Maui County Council, where she worked for 10 years, six years as a representative and four years as an at-large member. Following her time on the county council, Lingle became the youngest person to be elected as mayor of Maui County in 1990, a position she served in until 1999. Lingle was the first woman and non-Maui born person to be elected as mayor of Maui County.

During Governor Lingle's administration, the state developed alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, wave and hydrogen, along with ethanol and other biofuels produced through farming. While focusing energy on renewable resources, Lingle also worked to improve the public education system by putting more teachers into classrooms, directing more funding to the schools, and calling for more accountability from the centralized education bureaucracy.

In 2012, Lingle was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate for the seat of retiring Senator Daniel Akaka, but lost in the general election. After the race, she taught a public policy seminar at California State University, Northridge, and gave lectures and worked with the Governor's Council and Energy Security Council for the Bipartisan Policy Center. In January 2015, Lingle was appointed as a senior adviser to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.