February 28, 2022                                     

For Information:                                                                   
Ryan Leong, 808.392.7455


HONOLULU: The ACLU of Hawai‘i is pleased to announce Carrie Ann Shirota as its new Policy Director. This position is part of the ACLU’s effort to bolster the cause of civil rights in Hawai‘i by increasing its capacity and reach throughout the state.   

Ms. Shirota is an attorney with a long history of working on civil rights issues in Hawai‘i. She previously served as the Director for Maui Economic Opportunity’s BEST (Being Empowered and Safe Together) Reintegration Program that provides comprehensive reentry services for returning community members exiting our jails and prisons. She has also worked for the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, the Office of the Public Defender, Parents and Children Together, as a Faculty Counselor and Lecturer at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, and most recently as an Equal Opportunity Specialist at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Born and raised on Maui, Carrie Ann is a graduate of Baldwin High School, Santa Clara University in California, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law.

On joining the ACLU of Hawai‘i team, Carrie Ann Shirota said, "Throughout my professional career and as a volunteer, I have centered my policy work to protect the civil and human rights of Native Hawaiians and other marginalized groups and underrepresented groups and communities in my home in Hawai‘i. I am excited to bring my experience and lens to the work of the ACLU of Hawai‘i and look forward to being part of the affiliate’s efforts to protect the civil rights and liberties of the disenfranchised, the marginalized, and the most impacted members of our community in Hawai‘i.”

ACLU of Hawai‘i Executive Director Joshua Wisch added, “The work we do at the state legislature, the county councils, and in administrative agencies in Hawai‘i is a critical part of our job. Carrie Ann’s experienced leadership in these areas will deeply inform the work we’re doing in reimagining policing and public safety, smart justice, and decriminalizing poverty for years to come, and we’re excited to have her on board.”


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