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Hawaiʻi Gov. Green appoints 17 more people to his cabinet

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Hawai’i Gov. Green’s second cabinet selection group on Dec. 12, 2022. Photo Courtesy: State of Hawai’i

As part of his second round of cabinet nominees, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green, M.D. has made 17 more appointments. With these selections, Gov. Green has selected a director for every state department. 

“After one week, 40 of 45 cabinet-appointed positions have leaders to continue essential state work, including, for the first time, two Native Hawaiian women leading the Department of Land and Natural Resources,” according to a press release from Gov. Green’s office.

“Today’s nominees and appointments join a group of high-caliber individuals with strengths in their respective fields,” Green said. “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.”

The appointments:

Sharon Hurd, Chair for the Department of Agriculture: Hurd has more than 14 years of experience with the Department of Agriculture, most recently as Business Development Program Manager. She has strong knowledge of state and federal agriculture policy administration and has worked on the “Buy Local, It Matters” call to action campaign to encourage residents to purchase locally produced goods.


“Hurd’s collaborative and inclusive style of leadership prepares her for the necessary and vital work of engaging directly with our agricultural stakeholders to collectively move our state toward a more sustainable and food secure future, while protecting Hawai‘i’s fragile eco-systems at every level,” said Chad Buck, Owner/CEO, Hawai‘i Foodservice Alliance.

Dawn Chang, Chair for the Board of Land and Natural Resources: Chang brings more than 30 years of experience working on land rights and Native Hawaiian issues with experience as a Deputy Attorney General and as a Commissioner on the State Land Use Commission.  She currently serves as the principal of Ku‘iwalu, a Hawaiian woman-owned consulting firm.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Ethnic Studies professor, Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, who is also a leader of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana, commented on the nominations of Dawn Chang and Laura Ka‘aku, who Gov. Green chose as the First Deputy for the Department of Land and Natural Resources: 

“Gov. Green has made history with the appointment of two Kānaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) women, each of whom have demonstrated an aloha ʻāina approach – loving, caring, and advocating for Hawaiian lands, in partnership with our communities.  Their appointment gives our Kānaka ʻŌiwi community great hope that Gov. Green’s administration will carry out an enlightened and caring approach to co-managing our Hawaiian lands with our Hawaiian communities.”

Ikaika Anderson, Chair for the Hawaiian Homes Commission: As Honolulu City Council Chair, Anderson partnered with then-Lt. Gov. Green to bring Hui Mahi‘ai ‘Āina (a kauhale-style tiny-home village) to Waimānalo in 2019.  He has valuable leadership experience and coalition building skills to execute the $600 million in appropriations for housing made by the Legislature last session, according to the news release.


“Gov. Green’s appointment of Ikaika Anderson to lead DHHL is boldly stating that he actively seeks to engage Kānaka on issues of land and housing,” said Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, kumu, cultural practitioner and community leader. “Ikaika is well exercised in both the public and private sectors and has clearly articulated his desire to serve our community. I am confident that his experience has prepared him with the necessary lessons to uplift and empower my Hawaiian people.”

Laura Kaʻakua, First Deputy for the Department of Land and Natural Resources: Ka‘akua currently serves as the President and CEO of Hawaiʻi Land Trust, overseeing projects on the protection of coastlines, farms, ranches, Hawaiian cultural landscapes and historic sites.  She brings immense cross-sector collaboration experience and duty for public lands stewardship.

Katie Lambert Ducatt, Deputy to the Chair for the Hawaiian Homes Commission: Lambert Ducatt joins the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands having worked as a Deputy Attorney General assigned to the department.  She has a deep understanding of the department and will work to support critical execution demands, according to the news release.  

Dean Hazama, Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Hazama has extensive institutional experience with the department and brings a strong passion to serve the people of Hawai‘i.  He has an important background in fiscal, budget and legislative management, which will ensure the department’s operations will not be disrupted.

Gordon Ito, Insurance Commissioner for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Ito is returning as the state’s Insurance Commissioner, a role he held from 2010 to 2019. Through his time as Insurance Commissioner, Ito served as a national leader in the field as the Secretary Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Prior to his time in the seat, Ito held roles as Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner and Supervising Attorney for the state’s Insurance Division.


Tammy Lee, First Deputy for Administration for the Department of Transportation: Lee has 18 years of experience serving in the Department of Transportation in various roles. This is foundational experience as the department executes federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Dre Kalili, Deputy Director for Harbors for the Department of Transportation: Kalili is a solutions-oriented leader with a background in policy development and project management.  She joins a strong team at the Department of Transportation who are energized to propel the department forward in a steady direction. 

Robin Shishido, Deputy Director for Highways – Department of Transportation: Shishido leverages his engineering background to pave a lasting impact on our state highways.  His experience in the Department of Transportation paves a strong roadmap for our state’s infrastructure demands. 

William Oku, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement for the Department of Public Safety: Oku joins as Deputy Director for Law Enforcement having served as the Sheriff and as a Senior Special Assistant with the Office of the Governor.  He has a strong law enforcement and administrative background and will support the transition efforts of the department. 

Michael Vincent, Deputy Director for Administration for the Department of Law Enforcement : Vincent served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Recoveries Division at the Department of the Attorney General.  His strong management and legal background will help the department transition to full operations, according to the release.

Mark “Dutch” Hanohano, Sheriff for the Department of Law Enforcement: Hanohano brings more than 30 years of law enforcement experience to the leadership of the department, having served as US Marshall for the District of Hawai‘i and Deputy Sheriff.  He is currently the state’s Harbor Police Chief, a position he has held for the past 11 years, where he has worked to ensure the safety and security of the commercial harbors, the state’s lifeline.

William Kunstman, Deputy Director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: Kunstman has served the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for over a decade and has important institutional knowledge of the department as well as labor issues across the state.

Kristen Sakamoto, Deputy Director for the Department of Taxation: Sakamoto has experience not only in the department but also as a Deputy Attorney General having represented the department.  Her return to the department comes with a passion for results and shares in Governor Green’s commitment to reduce the cost of living in Hawai‘i.

Scott Glenn, Director of the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development: Glenn returns to his roots as an urban planner and will leverage his passion and strength with climate policy to lead this office in a sustainable direction.  He shares Governor Green’s vision to grow our economy and address climate change simultaneously, according to the release.

James Koshiba, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness: Koshiba has more than 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive, policy leader, and community builder.  He co-founded Kanu Hawai‘i and Hui Aloha, where he has been an advocate and social entrepreneur focused on creating permanent solutions to homelessness.

Gov. Green is developing advisory councils for his housing strategies and plans, as well as a special team that will advise and work on implementing the spending plan for the $600 million appropriation to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.  This team will be comprised of banking, financing, development, homestead, cultural and stakeholder experts, most of whom will volunteer their expertise and time. 

“Gov. Green has assembled a leadership team that embraces the values of huliau, new beginnings, and has the skill and courage to address the housing challenges of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act,” said Chief Housing Officer Nani Medeiros in the news release. “We have leaders in place who will partner with us and the community to prioritize housing for local people while protecting and promoting natural resources, our local economy and kānaka.”

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