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(spot)Light: Hina Arai

Hina Arai is the Utility Hearing Officer for City Light. Born in Pakistan, her family moved to the states, with stops in New York and Massachusetts before making a permanent home in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up in Aberdeen and attended college at the University of Washington (UW), majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Women’s Studies. She attended law school at California Western University.

Hina lives in the Wedgewood area with her husband Andrew and sons Joseph (2 ½ years) and Asher (7 months). “I love love love my neighborhood,” she said. “My parents live four houses down, which is fantastic. My other neighbors have kids the same age as my oldest so we get together for play dates and special events; it just feels like we live amongst an extended family.” In this week’s (spot)Light, Hina talks about her career path, the importance of giving back and her favorite park in Seattle.

Hina with her family

“I love living in Seattle. The local parks are wonderful. Not just how accessible and clean they are, but how we, as a city, prioritize the value they add to our communities. Greenlake is my favorite. I ran it in college and, though I didn’t know him at the time, my husband also did. Naturally, when we started dating, we’d run the lake together. In fact, that’s where we got engaged and took our engagement photos. Our fist apartment also overlooked the lake, so, it’s obviously a special place for us.”

“I started my career with internships and externships in Federal Indian law. After my first year of law school, I worked with UW’s Tribal Law Clinic representing tribal members in Tribal Court under supervision. It was amazing because as a law student, you are required to take the Tribal BAR exam and get a glimpse of what real litigation is like.  The next year, I worked with the in-house counsel for the Snoqualmie Tribe and then went on to the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. to work with the Office of Tribal Justice. After law school, I took the BAR exam and worked here in Seattle for a local firm representing various Tribes in criminal and civil matters.”

“My focus at City Light is dispute resolution for customers, things like billing disputes, landlord/tenant issues, bankruptcy/foreclosure issues and helping our claims unit with property damage cases. I also serve as a strategic advisor and give guidance to business units. I’m also the privacy champion for City Light and review different projects that have potential privacy impacts, which I enjoy. In this day and age, I believe it’s important that our customers know that we value and understand how critical their privacy is.”

“I like the culture of the utility. I value the City’s RSJI initiative and City Light’s commitment to it. I enjoy working in the public sector and serving my community. I think it’s very important to feel connected to where you live. To not only feel valued, but to add value.”

Thank you, Hina, for serving the utility since October 2013 and for always putting our community first!