Kauanoe Batangan is called to public service by a love for his homeland
and the community that raised him.
Kauanoe was born and raised in Hawaiʻi as the oldest child of Reuben Batangan and Lyla Eldredge. Along with his siblings and several cousins, Kauanoe grew up in Kahului, where his parents and grandparents built neighboring homes in an early increment of Dream City. His upbringing and family background reflect the history and diversity of Hawaiʻi: one of his grandfathers is Native Hawaiian while the other immigrated as a 1946 sakada; his mother is an elementary school teacher and his father works as an x-ray technician; his extended ʻohana includes small-business owners, artists, civil servants, and veterans who contribute to the richness of the islands’ community.
Kauanoe was one of the original eighty students at Kamehameha Schools Maui, which he attended throughout elementary, middle, and high school. In addition to graduating at the top of his class, Kauanoe was a three-sport varsity athlete, performed as a cellist at Carnegie Hall, became an Eagle Scout, and served in the student government.
Inspired by a message of hope and change, Kauanoe went on to study Political Science at Stanford University. After graduating, he moved to Washington, D.C. and served as an aide to Senator Daniel Akaka and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Working in the United States Capitol taught Kauanoe the importance of political representation and inspired him to found the Native Hawaiian Congressional Fellowship, a program to ensure Native Hawaiians are represented and engaged in federal policymaking.
Seeking to further hone his policymaking skills, Kauanoe then pursued advanced degrees from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In Tokyo and New York City, he engaged in cooperative study, research, and dialogue to develop better relations and understanding amongst the people and institutions that affect the Asia-Pacific. After graduating, Kauanoe returned to Hawaiʻi with new knowledge and perspectives to help address the societal challenges of his homeland.
Kauanoe recently ran for public office as a candidate for the Hawaii State House, District 9. He competed against a three-term incumbent for the Central Maui seat, and earned 34.6% of the ballots cast in the democratic primary. Kauanoe now serves as an Executive Assistant for Maui County Councilwoman Yuki Lei Sugimura.
Board Member – Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council
Board Member – Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce
Subcommittee Chair –Maui Matsuri Japanese Festival
Member – Royal Order of Kamehameha I
Professional Certificate and Development Programs:
First Nations Futures Institute – Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Advanced Legislative Processes Institute – Congressional Research Service
Deane and Paul Shatz Congressional Security Scholars Program –Center for National Policy
Emerging Congressional Staff Leaders Program –Stennis Center for Public Service
Stanford University –Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Columbia University –Master of Public Administration
University of Tokyo –Master of Public Policy
Eagle Scout – Boy Scouts of America, Troop 1
Vigil Honors – Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow, Maluhia Lodge