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Gov. Green fills out his cabinet with familiar government faces

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Office of Gov. Josh Green
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Directors and deputies for various state departments meet with Gov. Josh Green and Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, seated on the far right. (Dec. 8, 2022)

Gov. Josh Green has officially named all of his cabinet appointees. Most nominees have decades of experience in related government agencies, while a handful come from the private sector.

His final three nominations on Monday included Sharon Hurd to lead the Department of Agriculture, Dawn Chang as chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, and former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson to lead the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

Second Cabinet Selection Group.jpg Green  administration
Office of Gov. Josh Green
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Front row: Dawn Chang, chair for the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Sharon Hurd, chair for the Department of Agriculture; Ikaika Anderson, chair for the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Back row: Laura Ka‘akua, first deputy for the Department of Land and Natural Resources; Morris Atta, deputy chair for the Department of Agriculture; Katie Lambert Ducatt, deputy chair for the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

Green also appointed James Koshiba as his coordinator on homelessness under the Department of Human Services. Koshiba has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, and cofounded the groups Kanu Hawai‘i and Hui Aloha, which have focused on homelessness solutions.

“Together, the cabinet will work to make housing more affordable, bring down the cost of living, and work every day to make government more efficient through strong communication and collaboration," Green said in a statement.

Green said he's also working to develop housing strategy advisory councils. They will see through a $600 million spending plan for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate. Committee hearings have not yet been scheduled.

Some positions such as chair of the Board of Education are not at the end of their terms. Here's a full list of Green's cabinet-level appointments:

  • Keith Regan — Comptroller for the Department of Accounting and General Services. Regan previously worked for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and Maui County. Regan replaces Audrey Hidano, who was appointed in October 2022 after Curt Otaguro's departure.
  • Sharon Hurd — Chair for the Department of Agriculture. Hurd has over 14 years of experience with the department, most recently as business development program manager. Hurd will replace Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser.
  • Anne Lopez — Attorney General of Hawaiʻi. Lopez was most recently with the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Lopez replaces Holly Shikada, who has been the attorney general since January 2022 when then-Attorney General Clare Connors was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for Hawaiʻi.
  • Luis Salaveria — Director of the Department of Budget & Finance. He most recently worked with SanHi government solutions and previously served in the Ige administration as the director of DBEDT, and in the Abercrombie administration as deputy director of Budget and Finance. He replaces Craig Hirai.
  • Chris Sadayasu — Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Green said Sadayasu worked for over 17 years in the department and in related agencies such as the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Sadayasu replaces Mike McCartney.
    • Mark Glick — State Energy Officer. The Hawaiʻi State Energy Office is a division of DBEDT. He replaces Scott Glenn.
  • Nadine Ando — Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Green said Ando has over 40 years of commercial litigation experience. Catherine Awakuni Colón will remain in the position through mid-December.
  • Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara — Adjutant General for the Department of Defense. Hara will continue to serve as the adjutant general.

  • Ikaika Anderson — Chair for the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Green said Anderson will bring his experience as Honolulu City Council chair as he leads the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Anderson is set to replace William J. Ailā, Jr. after Ailā's term ends on Dec. 31.
  • Dr. Kenneth Fink — Director of the Department of Health. He is currently with the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association. Fink will replace Dr. Libby Char in January 2023. Kathleen "Kathy" Ho will stay on as deputy director of environmental health.
  • Brenna Hashimoto — Director of the Department of Human Resources Development. Hashimoto previously served as a human resources officer in the Department of Human Services. Hashimoto replaces Ryker Wada.
  • Cathy Betts — Director of the Department of Human Services. Betts will continue in her role as director alongside Deputy Director Joseph Campos II.
  • Jade Butay — Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Butay will leave his current role as director of the Department of Transportation. Butay replaces Anne Perreira-Eustaquio.
  • Dawn Chang — Chair for the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Chang has experience as a deputy attorney general and as a state land use commissioner. She is currently the principal of Ku‘iwalu, a Hawaiian woman-owned consulting firm. Chang replaces Suzanne Case.
    • The first deputy will be Laura Ka‘akua, who is currently the head of the Hawaiʻi Land Trust. If confirmed by the Senate, the department will be led by two Native Hawaiian women for the first time, according to Green.

  • Jordan Lowe — Director of the Department of Law Enforcement. The department was created during the 2022 legislative session and is scheduled to start full operations in 2024 when the Department of Public Safety splits into two departments.
  • Tommy Johnson — Director of the Department of Public Safety. Johnson recently served as the deputy director for corrections at the department. "His experience at the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority is critical as he leads the effort to transition the department to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in 2024," Green said. Johnson replaces Max Otani.
  • Gary Suganuma — Director of the Department of Taxation. Suganuma recently served as the supervising deputy attorney general for the tax and charities division at the Department of the Attorney General. He replaces Isaac Choy.
  • Ed Sniffen — Director of the Department of Transportation. Sniffen was most recently the deputy director for highways with the department. He replaces Jade Butay, who will lead the DLIR.

Want to submit a public comment to state senators? Click here for a full list of senators.

Sophia McCullough is a digital news producer. Contact her at news@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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