Robert Alm, JD

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

BA in political science, 1973, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
JD with distinction, 1975, University of Iowa School of Law

Robert (Robbie) Alm is executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric Company, with the primary responsibility of moving the company to a clean energy future. He joined Hawaiian Electric in 2001 as senior VP of public affairs, was promoted to executive VP of public affairs in 2008, and assumed his current role in 2009. He is also an executive officer of the Collaborative Leaders Network, an Omidyar Family Enterprises initiative designed to encourage more productive community dialog and decision-making. Alm currently teaches a graduate course in public administration leadership at UH Mānoa. 

Previously executive vice president and manager of First Hawaiian Bank’s Financial Management Group, Alm oversaw the Trust and Investments Division, First Investment Center and Bishop Street Capital Management. He also represented the bank as trustee for the Queen Liliuokalani Trust.

Before joining First Hawaiian Bank in 1993, Alm spent 11 years with the Hawai‘i State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. First a senior hearings officer, he became deputy director under Governor George Ariyoshi, then director under Governor John Waihee. Before that, he spent three years in Washington, DC, on Sen. Daniel Inouye’s staff. He had a private law practice for three years after he earned his JD from the University of Iowa in 1975.

Alm is active in community affairs and is currently board chair for Enterprise Honolulu and PBS Hawaii. He also serves on the boards of Island Insurance Company, Helping Hands Hawaii, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, and the American Judicature Society, Hawaii Chapter.

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Alm is a graduate of University High School. He is an Honorary Ali‘i, Royal Order of Kamehameha I and recently received the 2011 Bishop Museum Ulupono Chairman’s Award. He and wife Cynthia, an attorney and mediator, have two daughters, Kristin and Rachel.


Tribute video produced by Tom Galli. Mahalo to Kelvin Taketa, Leslie Wilcox, Karen Hirota, Meriel Collins, Kawehi Yim, Peter Boylan, Sara Daly, Jennifer Sabas and Don Kozono. Special thanks to the UH Media Lab for producing Sen. Inouye's interview and Benny Chong for permission to use music from Ukulele Jazz (2005).