Senator Brian Schatz has dedicated his career to public service as a strong advocate for Hawai‘i’s middle-class families, a clean energy economy, seniors, our veterans, and Native Hawaiians.
As Hawai‘i’s senior United States Senator, Brian serves on three Senate Committees essential to the future of Hawai‘i: Appropriations, Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Indian Affairs. Senator Schatz is also one of just three Democrats on the Select Committee on Ethics.
In the United States Senate, Schatz is working to create new clean energy jobs for Hawai‘i, strengthen the middle-class, enhance Social Security and Medicare, make college more affordable, support Native Hawaiian programs, and ensure our veterans receive the benefits they have earned.
As a leader on clean energy, Senator Schatz has introduced legislation to reduce the effects of climate change while also moving our nation into a clean energy economy, creating jobs, and lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Staying true to his commitment to Social Security and our seniors, Brian helped to fight back efforts in Congress that would have unfairly cut seniors’ Social Security benefits. He introduced legislation to help our seniors by increasing their Social Security benefits while strengthening the financial stability of the program.
As the father of two young children, Senator Schatz has made education a top priority. He is working to provide every family with access to early childhood education and to also make college more affordable for Hawai‘i students and families.
He is committed to working with President Obama to reduce the cost of college by promoting accountability, innovation, and competition amongst colleges. This plan takes significant steps toward making college more accessible and affordable for Hawai‘i students and all middle-class families.
As Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, Brian turned the Office of Lieutenant Governor into a flexible and dynamic force. This included Brian heading up the development of Asia-Pacific relations by serving as the State lead when Hawaii hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2011. The event brought 20,000 government and business leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific economies to Honolulu and $37.7 million for Waikiki hotels.
Brian led the State’s clean energy efforts including the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative. Through collaborative leadership with state and federal agencies, Schatz developed strategies to put Hawai‘i on track to exceed their renewal energy portfolio standard goals and to be number one in the nation. The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative has made the state a national model for clean energy growth and created new clean economy jobs.
From 1998 to 2006, Brian Schatz was a member of the State House of Representatives. He served as the House Majority Whip, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of Water, Land and Ocean Resources, Vice-Chair of Consumer Protection and Commerce, and as a member of the Hawaiian Affairs, Higher Education, Energy and Environmental Protection, and Agriculture Committees.
Before being elected Lieutenant Governor, for eight years Schatz was the CEO of Helping Hands Hawai‘i, one of Hawai‘i’s largest non-profit community social services organizations.
Senator Schatz was raised in Hawai‘i, and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is married to Linda Kwok Schatz, who is an architect. They have a son and daughter.