Faculty & Staff

Brandon

Marc

Higa ’19

Lecturer in Law

Degrees

S.J.D. (anticipated spring 2024), William S. Richardson School of Law

J.D., William S. Richardson School of Law

MA, University of Southern California

BA, University of Southern California

Biography

Brandon Marc Higa is a licensed attorney and alumnus of the Evening, Part-time Program completing a Doctor of Juridical Sciences (S.J.D.) at the William S. Richardson School of Law. During law school, Higa served as the executive editor of the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, hosting a symposium and publishing articles featuring legal issues in Okinawa. Higa was awarded the Frank Boas Award for the best SYS paper on an Asia-Pacific topic and completed a second SYS-length publication through a directed study with Professor Mark A. Levin. Higa was appointed by Governor David Y. Ige to serve on the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents and was elected during his first year as the Student Bar Association President.

Higa’s first career was in public diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and he remains engaged with international relations work through his current employment at UH. In 2023, Higa was selected for the White House Initiative, U.S.-ASEAN University Connections Initiative (UCI) to form partnerships with institutions of higher education in the Southeast Asia region. Higa is a grantee of State ECA’s IDEAS grant program for the project, Militourism and Indigenous Identities in Hawai‘i and Okinawa. Higa served on the grant writing team that secured $2 million in federal grants for the National Resource Center of East Asia at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Center for Japanese Studies (PI: Mark Levin).

Higa is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA), appearing in international and national advertisement campaigns, films, and television shows.

Publications

“Japan’s Same-Sex Marriage Cases (2021-2023): Enshrining the Right to Sexual Autonomy,” Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal Vol. 25 Issue 2 (2023) (co-authored with Joshua D. Faumuina).

“The Hawaiʻi Connection: Okinawa’s Postwar Reconstruction and Uchinanchu Identity,” Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Vol. 20 Issue 17 (2022) (co-authored with Kelli Y. Nakamura, Ph.D.).

“Okinawa and Human Rights Scholarship in the Law and Japan Field: A Bibliographic Compilation,” Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal Vol. 22 Issue 1 (2020).

“Unpacking Okinawa’s ‘Suitcase Murder’: Expanded Japanese Criminal Jurisdiction of U.S. Civilian Contractors Under the 2017 SOFA Supplemental Agreement,” Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, Vol. 21 Issue 2 (2020).

“Yuimaaru: Okinawan Prisoners of War Shape Okinawan Identity and Transnational Connections,” Amerasia Journal, Vol. 30 Issue 1 (2020) (co-authored with Kelli Y. Nakamura, Ph.D.).

“Japan’s Anti-Conspiracy Law: Relinquishing Japan’s Civil Liberties in the Name of Global Counterterrorism Efforts,” in Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, Vol. 19 Issue 1 (2017).

Conferences and Presentations

Panelist, Okinawan Studies: Past, Present, and Future Symposium, George Washington University & Okinawa Prefectural Government Washington, D.C. Office, December 6, 2023.

Guest lecture (English and Japanese), American Contract Law, Aichi University Study Tour, October 10, 2023.

Presenter, Comparative Constitutionalism and Legislation, New Directions in Law and Society, University of Massachusetts Amherst, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. October 9, 2021. (NSF Award #2023630).

Presenter, “Finding Meaning in Being “Japanese American”: A Tale of Two Cities,” U.S.-Japan Council Japanese-American Speaker Program, Waseda University (June 2021), Tokyo Gakugei University (Spring 2022), and Musashi University (Summer 2022).

Co-Presenter, “Shaping Okinawan Identity and Community in Hawaiʻi During World War II,” King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center. May 18, 2020.

Presenter, “Unpacking Okinawa’s “Suitcase Murder”: Expanding Japan’s Jurisdiction over U.S. Civilian Contractors Under the 2017 SOFA Supplemental Agreement,” East-West Center 19th International Graduate Student Conference. February 13, 2020.

Presenter, “Japan’s Anti-Conspiracy Law and Okinawa Anti-Base Movement: Relinquishing Japan’s Civil Liberties in the Name of Global Counterterrorism Efforts,” East-West Center 17th International Graduate Student Conference. February 16, 2018.

Co-Presenter, “Yuimaaru: Okinawan Prisoners of War Shape Okinawan Identity and Transnational Connections,” Japan Studies Association. January 6, 2018.

portrait photo

Contact

higabran@hawaii.edu

Office

Files

Classes

Course #Class TitleSemesterYear
505
Spring2024