MEET THE FIRST LADY
Dawn Amano-Ige became the first lady of Hawaiʻi when her husband, Governor David Ige, was sworn in as the 8th governor of the State of Hawaiʻi in December 2014.
In her role as first lady, Mrs. Ige draws on her experiences as an educator and business woman. She supports education, particularly in the areas of literacy, global education, and international student exchanges. She was honored in 2016 by the Public School of Hawai‘i Foundation.
In 2019, Mrs. Ige launched the ‘Ohana Readers program to promote early literacy among young children. And recently as Hawai‘i faces the challenge of COVID-19, Mrs. Ige launched her Facebook page to connect with families and provide them with educational and recreational activities. Her page features “Story Time with First Lady” where she reads aloud a book and follows up with a related activity as well as “Q&A Hawai‘i” where she interviews community leaders on subjects that are top of mind with the public.
First lady is also on a mission to encourage more students to begin their day with a healthy breakfast through the Jump Start Breakfast Initiative. In 2019, Mrs. Ige was name to the School Breakfast Hall of Family by No Kid Hungry. Mrs. Ige also promotes healthy living through the Department of Health’s Choose Healthy Now program.
Nationally, she serves as chair of the Spouses’ Leadership Committee for the National Governors Association.
Professionally, Mrs. Ige was an educator who served as vice principal of Kanoelani Elementary School and Moanalua High School. Prior to working in school administration, she was a 3rd grade teacher for over 10 years at Waimalu Elementary School. Mrs. Ige previously worked in business as marketing director of Kapiolani Health Care System and as an account executive for the public relations firm of Stryker Weiner Associates.
Mrs. Ige was born and raised in Ewa, Hawaiʻi and is a graduate of James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Hawai‘i, where she met her husband. She also earned a master’s degree business from Chaminade University in Honolulu. After having children, she returned to the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa for a professional diploma in elementary education.
Governor and Mrs. Ige have three children, Lauren, Amy and Matthew, who are currently pursuing their careers on the mainland.
Jump Start Breakfast
In 2018, the “Jump Start Breakfast” pilot program launched at up to 10 Hawai‘i schools has itself been jumpstarted by funding from the national No Kid Hungry campaign.
First lady teamed up with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s School Food Services Branch, Hawai‘i Appleseed, Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Programs, Safeway Foundation and other community partners to encourage more students to start their day with a healthy school breakfast.
To celebrate Hawai‘i’s winning campaign a summit was held on May 8, 2019 at Kapi‘olani Community College, where eight student culinary teams vied for top prizes in savory and sweet breakfast categories.
To learn more about our program, please visit: https://ainapono.org/jumpstart/
‘Ohana Readers on Moloka‘i
In 2019 the ʻOhana Readers literacy program was launched on Molokaʻi.
Each month ‘Ohana Readers will deliver free books to children through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in partnership with the Office of the Governor, the state Department of Human Services, the Hawai‘i State Public Library System, the Friends of the Library, Rep. Lynn DeCoite’s office, Learning to Grow and Read to Me International.
Research shows that children are ready to learn in their earliest years, and this program provides no-cost opportunities for learning from birth through age four. ʻOhana Readers encourages family read-aloud time, an activity that increases the vocabulary and language skills of our children and contributes to their growing knowledge of the world.
For more information please contact Caroline Adolpho, Moloka‘i administrator at
(808) 567-9050 during office hours or email [email protected]
Storytime with the First Lady
As a parent and former educator, Mrs. Ige has always valued books and the role it plays in instilling the love of learning in a child’s life. Storytime brings quality books and activities into a family’s home and encourages quality family time.
Invite your friends and family to join first lady as she shares some of her favorite stories with you.
Conversations with the First Lady
In partnership with Olelo Community Media, first lady brings you a monthly series for children and families. She will be reading some of her favorite stories followed by a conversation with a community leader.
This 30-minute show is filmed on site at historic Washington Place, home of our beloved Queen Lili‘uokalani, Hawai‘i’s last reigning monarch.
In the first episode which aired during the summer of 2020, Mrs. Ige read “Say Something” by Peter Reynolds, an empowering story about finding your voice and using it to make the world a better place. She then interviewed Justice Sabrina McKenna, of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, who shared with the audience what her job is like.
Visit ‘Ōlelo Community Media each month to watch the latest episode.
Q&A Hawai‘i with the First Lady
In Q&A Hawai‘i, Mrs. Ige introduces Hawai‘i citizens to the different agencies that serve the public. In this live format on Facebook, Mrs. Ige asks questions and gets answers for you.
Guests have included Stacey Aldrich, state librarian; Alexandra Slous, state disaster recovery coordinator; and Suzanne Case, director of department of land and natural resources. Other guests have spoken on topics such as mail-in voting, grab-and-go meal program, and stress management.
Join her on Facebook to learn more about the numerous programs and services available to you.
Washington Place was once home to Hawai‘i’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili‘uokalani, and today is the official residence for Hawai‘i’s governors and their families. Governor Ige and first lady have held many community events and hosted many dignitaries at this historic home.
As First Lady, Mrs. Ige has made it a priority to make Washington Place accessible to the public. Under her leadership, the home has grown into a gathering place for the community to learn more about our state’s rich history.
For more information visit www.ags.hawaii.gov/washingtonplace/.