Hon. Ben Cayetano '71

Ben Cayetano '71

Former Governor of Hawaii

Ben Cayetano '71

Former Governor Ben Cayetano, a Democrat, served twelve years in the Hawaii State Legislature and served as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii for eight years, before becoming Governor. He is the State's fifth governor and the first of Filipino ancestry.

A Hawaii native, Governor Cayetano earned a B.A. in Political Science from the UCLA in 1968 and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 1971. After graduating from law school, Governor Cayetano returned to Honolulu where he set up a successful law practice before being elected to the state legislature.

While serving in the legislature, he helped to establish the first Hula Mae loan program to provide low-interest housing loans to "gap-group" families; authored legislation to establish the first program in Hawaii to test Vietnam veterans suffering from the effects of Agent Orange; and authored the law creating the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research at the University of Hawaii.

For four consecutive years, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin recognized him as one of "The Ten Most Effective Legislators." Among his awards: the 1991 Excellence in Leadership Medallion, awarded by the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (for his program to address the problems of latch-key children in public elementary schools); the 1993 Award of Merit conferred the University of Hawaii College of Education (in recognition of his contributions to education); and, the 1995 Award for Ethics in Government conferred by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.