President Joe Biden’s choice to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, Clare E. Connors, was sworn in today.
Connors left her position as state Attorney General after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 7. Biden nominated Connors on Sept. 28
“I am grateful to return to this office with the opportunity to lead its efforts in serving the Hawaii community,” said USA Connors. “We will continue to protect the interests of the United States and all the people and organizations we represent.”
Chief United States District Judge J. Michael Seabright administered the oath of office.
Connors is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in Hawaii, which covers the state and some U.S. interests and sections of the Pacific.
She supervises a staff of about 60 employees, including 28 attorneys and 29 non-attorney support personnel. The office prosecutes federal crimes, including violations related to national security, drug trafficking, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and violent crime. The office also initiates affirmative civil actions, defends the federal government in civil cases and collects debts.
Connors is a Punahou School graduate who had served as Hawaii’s AG since January 2019. She worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 2004-2011, and prior to that as a trial attorney in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice from 2003 to 2004. After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2011, she worked in private practice at Davis Levin Livingston from 2011 to 2019.
Connors received her J.D. in 2002 from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in 1996 from Yale College.
In 2015 then-President Barack Obama nominated Connors to be a federal judge in Hawaii. She was to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court created by Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s retirement. She was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but her nomination fell victim to partisan squabbling, and she was one of several Obama appointees whose nomination was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
She replaces acting U.S. Attorney for Hawaii Judith Philips, who took over after Kenji Price resigned in February after Biden took office.
Connors began her legal career in Hawaii clerking for federal District Judge David Ezra.