Peter Apo is a sitting Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a popular public speaker, and President of The Peter Apo Company, LLC, a cultural tourism consulting firm. Peter has had a distinguished career in public service. In 1980 he was elected to serve on the first Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, followed by 12 years of service in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives. In 1994 he became Director of Culture & Arts for the City & County of Honolulu. In 1996 he assumed the position of Special Assistant on Hawaiian Affairs to the Governor. He subsequently returned to the City & County of Honolulu as Director of Waikīkī Development.
He was a Regent of Chaminade University, chaired the board of directors for the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation, the Pacific Islanders in Communications, and the first Waiʻanae-Nānākuli Neighborhood Board. He further served on the board of the Hawaiʻi Visitors & Convention Bureau. He is a founding member of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and served as its past chairman of the board. He served as Civilian Aide to the U.S. Secretary of the Army for West Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. He continues serving the community on numerous boards and commissions.
Peter has an avocation as a performer-singer-songwriter whose adventure with a professional music career began in the 1960s when he formed the Travelers 3 folk band with two college friends out of the University of Oregon. The group recorded several albums for both Elektra and Capitol Records and broke onto the national folk music scene touring folk clubs and colleges across the nation. Returning to Hawaiʻi in 1975, Peter teamed with Del Beazley to record the award-winning Apo & Beazley CD. Since then Peter has produced and recorded 5 CDs. As a songwriter, Peter is perhaps best known as the co-author of The Sovereignty Song, which has been sung by many artists and is found on a Keali’i Reichel CD.
Peter is married to retired state Psychologist Joan Sheeran Apo, has 4 children and 7 grandchildren. He is a native Hawaiian who grew up in Mākaha, Oʻahu, graduated high school from Mid-Pacific Institute and attended the University of Oregon as a psychology major. He is a devotee of Lua, the Hawaiian martial art, and belongs to Pā Kui A Holo. His induction training was under Nā ʻŌlohe (grand masters) Eli Mitchell, Tommy Kaulukukui, and Billy Richards. He is also a prolific author of Op-Ed articles on Hawaiian politics and culture, and a popular speaker for associations and businesses.