Advisory Board

Sylvia Matayoshi

Advisor - Dignitary Services

Sylvia Ui’lani Matayoshi is an internationally recognized expert on violent crimes including human trafficking with over 25 years of experience. Beginning her career as a member of a Metropolitan Police Department Domestic Abuse Response Team and Speaker’s Bureau, she has since established and led two Tribal Law Enforcement Special Victims Units, funded by the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. During this time, she was part of the faculty for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: Domestic Violence in Indian Country Training Pilot Program. A career highlight was attending a Trafficking in Persons briefing at the US White House. She served as Human Trafficking Program Manager for a joint Trafficking Response Team, a collaborative project with the Asian Pacific Islander Safety Center, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Seattle Police Department – Vice Unit and a US Federal Agency. She further served as a member of the Washington State Governor’s Anti-Trafficking Taskforce and the Washington Anti-trafficking Resource Network (W.A.R.N.).

In addition to participation in the United Nations Beijing +5 prep coms, UN World Congress on Children, and Asian Regional Initiative Against Trafficking (ARIAT), she served as an Advisor (violence against women and human rights) at the UN, where she co-sponsored UN policy along with the U.S. Delegation that addressed the prosecution of individuals and groups who fuel the demand for trafficked victims. She has likewise supported transnational child trafficking investigative work. Ms Matayoshi has served on assignment with the U.S. State Department to train law enforcement, prosecutors, lawmakers, and advocates in South America. She was an expert witness for the Northwest Intertribal Court System.

A passionate and skilled trainer, Ms Matayoshi is a three-time keynote speaker in commemoration of United Nations International Women’s Day, University of Hawaii Richardson Law School and has delivered numerous assignments throughout the US and abroad.

In 2020, she was the recipient of Zonta International’s Rose Award.

Ms Matayoshi was the first full-time female member of an Ops (Rescue) Unit for an International Anti-Trafficking NGO, where she served as a Vice President of Strategic Mobilization, supporting rescue operations within the Pacific Northwest, Indian Country and Hawai’i.

Elected by her peers, Ms Matayoshi has successfully led inter-agency collaborative efforts of five Task Forces, helped scale up coalition building in both urban/rural communities and throughout US Indian County over the past 25 years.