Hawaii News

Gov. Green, Department of Human services appoint new DHS 2nd Deputy Director

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Trista Speer. Photo Courtesy: Office of the Governor

Governor Josh Green and the Department of Human Services have appointed Trista Speer to serve as the 2nd Deputy Director for the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, where she joins Director Cathy Betts, and Deputy Director Joseph Campos II in their respective leadership roles.

“Trista brings a breadth of experience across multiple disciplines that will complement the DHS mission through her commitment to children and families and her expertise as a legal practitioner,” said Cathy Betts, director of the Department of Human Services. “She has a strong background in juvenile justice and child welfare systems, human trafficking, and investigation practices. Most importantly, Trista brings a deep commitment to creating community safety and well-being, and a sense of empathy for the critical work the department provides.”

Most recently, Speer served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Public Safety Division of Hawai‘i’s Department of the Attorney General, where her practice involved serving as an attorney advisor for the Department of Public Safety and Department of Law Enforcement, as well as representing Department of Public Safety and the state of Hawai‘i in various litigation matters.


Prior to her time at the Attorney General’s office, Speer spent most of her career as a Deputy District Attorney in various parts of Oregon. As a career prosecutor, Speer specialized in handling child welfare and juvenile delinquency matters, as well as major crimes involving human trafficking, violent felonies, and sex abuse crimes, with a proactive and trauma-informed approach with both adult and minor victims.

Speer also worked at a large law firm in Portland, Oregon in its complex commercial litigation group, focusing on areas such as eminent domain, construction defect, and mortgage-backed securities fraud.


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