|The Trailblazer Award honors outstanding attorneys and organizations that make an impact in the legal profession and within the AANHPI community. This lifetime achievement award is NAPABA’s highest honor and recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other AANHPI attorneys.|
Trailblazers have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity in their practice. They have also made substantial and lasting contributions to the AANHPI legal profession, as well as the broader AANHPI community.
We’re proud to recognize these deserving honorees of the 2023 NAPABA Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award and look forward to celebrating their achievements at the 2023 NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis.
2023 Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award Recipients
Director Kiran A. Ahuja
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
|Kiran A. Ahuja serves as the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). After more than two decades in public service and executive nonprofit work, she was nominated by President Joe Biden for her current role before being confirmed by the United States Senate on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Director Ahuja is the first South Asian American and first Asian American woman to lead OPM. Learn more about Kiran.|
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta
U.S. Department of Justice
|Vanita Gupta is the 19th United States Associate Attorney General and has served as the third-ranking official at the Department of Justice since her confirmation by the Senate on April 21, 2021. Associate Attorney General Gupta supervises the Department of Justice’s civil litigating divisions. She also oversees the grantmaking components of the Department. Learn more about Vanita.|
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Lisa S. Loo, as Vice President for Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel at Arizona State University, focuses on special projects and initiatives, commercial transactions, procurement, real estate and immigration matters. Lisa is a founding board member of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. Learn more about Lisa.
Florence T. Nakakuni
Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii
|Florence T. Nakakuni is the former United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii. She was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama, replacing Edward H. Kubo Jr. who left to become a Judge on the Hawaii First Circuit Court. She is the first female United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii. Learn more about Florence.|
Ambassador Katherine C. Tai
U.S. Trade Representative
|Ambassador Katherine C. Tai was sworn in as the 19th United States Trade Representative on March 18, 2021. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Ambassador Tai is the principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on U.S. trade policy. Prior to her unanimous Senate confirmation, Ambassador Tai spent most of her career in public service focusing on international economic diplomacy, monitoring, and enforcement. Learn more about Katherine.|
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
|Mark T. Uyeda was sworn into office on June 30, 2022, after being nominated by President Joseph Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Commissioner Uyeda has served on the staff of the SEC since 2006. He most recently served on detail from the SEC to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs as a securities counsel to the committee’s minority staff. He is the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a Commissioner at the SEC. Learn more about Mark.|