Charles Djou represented Hawai'i's First Congressional District from 2010 to 2011. The First Congressional District comprises the urban core of Honolulu from the eastern shores of Oahu to the western areas of Ewa and Kapolei, and includes Mililani, Waikiki and Downtown. He was a member of the House Budget Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
Before entering the U.S. House, Charles served on the Honolulu City Council and in the Hawaii State House of Representatives, where he was Minority Floor Leader.
Charles is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a combat veteran who served with the U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan during the “surge” of coalition forces in 2011-2012. Charles deployed with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Infantry Division at Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province. Charles' military decorations include the Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.
A child of immigrants, Charles’ parents emigrated from China and Thailand. The former congressman grew up in Hawai'i and graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu. He attended the University of Pennsylvania earning degrees in Political Science and Economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce and received his juris doctor from the University of Southern California Law School.
Charles has been an active member of the community in Honolulu. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association and the Neighborhood Board for his area. He is a member of the Kamehameha Lions Club and has been a member of the Young Business Roundtable, the Rotary Club, and the Hawaii Telecommunications Association.
He has taught at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law, the University of Hawaii West Oahu, and Hawaii Pacific University.
Charles is married to Stacey Kawasaki Djou. Born and raised in Hawaii, Stacey graduated from Kalani High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. An attorney, Stacey earned her law degree from the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law. Together they raise their three children on Oahu.
People often ask from where Charles' last name, Djou, comes. Charles' father was born in Shanghai, China, and raised in Hong Kong. His mother was raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Charles was raised here in Hawaii. Yet, he has this odd, French-sounding, last name.
It started in the 1920's. Charles' grandfather worked for a French engineering firm in Shanghai. His grandfather's French boss, who spoke only French and Chinese, gave him the French name "Dijou" which roughly sounds like Charles' family's Chinese name, "Zhou." In 1948, during the communist revolution in China, Charles' grandfather fled to Hong Kong, which was then a British colony. Upon his arrival, the British asked Charles' grandfather to fill out immigration papers. Rather than write down his Chinese character, Charles' grandfather wrote down "Djou" - not knowing that this was actually French or that it was misspelled. Charles' father took this name to the United States, Charles was born with it and now you have a local Chinese guy with a French sounding last name.
U.S. Representative, 2010-2011
City Councilman, 2003-2010
State Representative, 2000-2002
- House Minority Floor Leader, 2001-2002
- Assistant House Minority Whip, 2000-2001
Small Business Hawaii "Legislator of the Year," 2001, 2003, and 2005
Hawaii Republican Party, Vice Chairman, 1998-1999
US Army Reserve, 2001-Present
Afghan (OEF) Combat Veteran, 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), 2011-2012
Selected Military Decorations: Combat Action Badge; Army Commendation Medal
Attorney, specializing in business law
Adjunct Professor, UH West Oahu, Univ. of Hawaii Law School and HPU
USC Law School, JD
Univ. of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, BS & BA