January 6, 2021                          

For Information:                                                                   
Joshua Wisch, 808.522.5903 or 808.542.4089


Honolulu, Hawai‘i: The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (“ACLU of Hawai‘i”) is excited to announce the addition to its team of Ryan Leong, joining as Deputy Executive Director. His position is part of a strategic expansion by the local ACLU affiliate to build its capacity and reach in order to better protect and advance civil rights for all the people of Hawai‘i.

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Ryan has worked in the nonprofit sector his entire career. For the last 12 years Ryan worked at the YMCA of Honolulu Kalihi Branch, most recently serving as its Associate Executive Director. Ryan is a cofounder of the YMCA of Honolulu LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group and a graduate of the YMCA of the USA Multicultural Executive Career Advancement cohort number 6.

On joining the team, Ryan Leong said: “I’m excited to join the team at the ACLU of Hawai‘i and be part of work that speaks to my values. I’m looking forward to serving my community and serving Hawai‘i by helping further build and sustain the affiliate’s capacity to make a positive impact statewide.” 

In 2009, Ryan cofounded Hands in Helping Out (HIHO) a local nonprofit serving the state of Hawaiʻi by connecting volunteers to service, volunteer leaders with training, and organizations with volunteer programming development. He is currently a board member of HIHO serving as Vice President.

Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a 2014 Pacific Business News 40 under 40 selection. In his spare time he loves to cook, volunteer, and spend time with his wife and two dogs.

Executive Director Joshua Wisch said: “In addition to the threats to civil liberties at the national level, we’re constantly faced with dangers right here in Hawai‘i as well. From the epidemic of mass incarceration to the clear need to reimagine policing to the constant criminalization of poverty, there is so much work the ACLU of Hawai‘i needs to do here at home. We’re excited to have Ryan join us and be a critical part of increasing our capacity as we continue to do our best to serve the people of Hawai‘i.”


The mission of the Hawai‘i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.