Meet the Commissioners
Linda Hamilton Krieger
Chairperson (term 2011-2015)
Linda Hamilton Krieger grew up in Hawai‘i and returned home in 2007 to join the faculty at the William S. Richardson School of Law as a Professor of Law and Director of the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program. Professor Krieger received a BA degree from Stanford University and is a graduate of New York University Law School. Prior to teaching, Professor Krieger worked for 13 years as a civil rights lawyer. From 1980-1986 she was a Staff Attorney and Director of Clinical Programs at the Employment Law Center of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, and from 1985-1991 she was a Senior Staff Attorney for the EEOC, San Francisco Regional Office. During that period, she litigated a number of significant state and federal sex and race discrimination cases in the areas of pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment. She also played a significant role in drafting state and federal legislation in these subject matter areas. Professor Krieger has also published numerous articles on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, disability discrimination, affirmative action, international comparative equality law and policy, and theories of law and social change.
Commissioner, (term 2017-2020)
Ms. Ebesugawa is Assistant General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. Previously she served as an Associate General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. where she provided legal support to personnel and management and advice in obtaining regulatory approvals for various projects. She also served as Executive Director of the Hawaii State Board of Education, where she provided legal and administrative services for matters before or involving the Board of Education.
Ms. Ebesugawa is currently the Second Vice President of the Honolulu Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League’s Board of Directors. During her tenure as the JACL’s past Board President, she addressed issues related to marriage equality, homelessness, Native Hawaiian self-determination, and other civil rights issues that face the community. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and has coauthored several academic publications and presentations regarding privacy in the workplace, Japanese American redress, and racial discrimination.
Commissioner, (term 2017-2020)
Joan Lewis is a 27 year Hawai’i public school teaching veteran and a long time education advocate. Ms. Lewis has been a part of the teaching staffs of Nānākuli High and Intermediate School and Kapolei High School where her work with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island students shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Ms. Lewis is one of the founders of the Hō’ola Leadership Academy, a 9-12th grade academy within Kapolei High School that provides a safe learning space for students who face obstacles that can undermine their success. Graduation rates for students in this program have been in the upper 90 percentile.
Ms. Lewis has also served as a school, district and state leader for the Hawai’i State Teachers Association. Her work as part of the HSTA includes providing culturally sensitive training and support for teachers in the Leeward District of the DOE, the development and delivery of courses to support students of diverse economic backgrounds, and the expansion of the teacher voice in support of Hawai’i’s students.
Ms. Lewis’ other experiences include service as a foster parent for Hale Kipa Inc.; an educational staff member for Palama Settlement’s In-Community Treatment Program; a house parent for Child and Family Services Ila Humphrey home for girls recovering from sexual assault; and as a trustee for the Hawai’i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund. These activities have been instrumental in developing Ms. Lewis’ belief that we must work together to provide the Aloha that all citizens, but especially the most vulnerable among us, need to survive and thrive.
Ms. Lewis earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education at Drake University and her Master’s degree from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.
Artemio Constantino Baxa
Commissioner, (term 2013-2017)
Artemio C. Baxa first practiced law in the Philippines. He received his law degree from the Ateneo De Manila University, a masters in comparative law from the University of Chicago Law School, and a juris doctorate at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law.
In Hawaii, Baxa was in private law practice with Lowenthal, August and Graham for five years and served as a Maui County deputy prosecutor for more than twenty five years. He is a retired Second Circuit Court judge, and is presently an appellate attorney with the Maui Prosecutor’s Office.
Mr. Baxa served as President of the Maui County Bar Association, and as an officer/board director in various civic and community organizations, including Vice-President of the United Filipino Council of Hawaii, and Board member on Maui Catholic Charities of Hawaii (present), Maui County Charter Commission (2011-2012), and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents (2008-2013).
Mr. Baxa’s interest in civil rights began when he worked as a bellhop; when he served minorities and other underprivileged populations as a Community Aide, Child Care and Transportation Services Director, and Community Improvement and Development Coordinator in an anti-poverty program (MEO); as Maui County’s Deputy Director of Housing and Human Concerns; and when he prepared the report, “Filipino Immigration and Social Challenges in Maui County (1972)”, a comprehensive analysis of a countrywide survey of the needs and problems of Filipino immigrants in Maui County.