Mayor, Hawai‘i County
Harry Kim is in his third term as Mayor of Hawai‘i County. He served his first term from 2000-2004; his second term from 2004-2008; and began is third term in 2016. Prior to his time as Mayor, Kim was Hawai‘i County’s Law Enforcement Assistance Agency (LEAA) Director and Civil Defense Administrator.
Kim served as an international advisor on natural disaster response systems in Indonesia, Thailand, Germany and Honduras, and was selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Disaster Relief Organization (UNDRO) to be a contributor in the development of an emergency management handbook for volcanic events.
The son of Korean immigrants, Kim’s father worked at the sugar plantation on Hawai‘i Island, and the family had a typical plantation working lifestyle. Kim later served as a medic in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
He also worked as a teacher at Honoka‘a Intermediate and High School, Hilo High School and Hawai‘i Community College, and as a football, basketball and girls’ softball coach. In addition, he and his mother ran a business, Kea‘au Kim Chee, for more than 25 years.