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Governor-elect Green announces nominees for top cabinet leaders : Big Island Now


Governor-elect Josh Green today announced nominees to serve as Director and/or Deputy Director for 14 state departments in his cabinet.

“I am assembling a cabinet that will move the State of Hawai‘i forward and commit to a strong sense of service to the people of Hawai‘i” Green said. “This is a group of high caliber individuals with strengths in their respective fields. They join together as leaders of Hawai‘i with an urgency to make change and face our challenges head on.”

In total, Governor-elect Green is making 20 appointments to Director and Deputy Director positions across fourteen state departments. Many are subject to advice and consent of the Hawai‘i State Senate and Governor-elect Green looks forward to working with the Legislature and his nominees to advance important legislation and demonstrate why these nominees are fit to help lead the state forward.

Governor-elect Green will be officially inaugurated on Dec. 5 at noon. The Inauguration will be held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. Doors open at 9 a.m. and the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. This event is open to the public and free of charge.

Appointments to Director of state departments

Anne Lopez

Anne Lopez, Attorney General for the Department of the Attorney General

Lopez joins with extensive legal experience across multiple state departments. Most recently as Vice President and General Counsel for the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation she brings executive managerial experience to the department and crucial understanding of government affairs. She is prepared to take on the legal challenges facing the state and provide effective leadership to the Department of the Attorney General.

Luis Salaveria
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Luis Salaveria, Director of the Department of Budget & Finance

Salaveria has over twenty years of experience in the public and private sector working on budget and policy issues. He most recently worked with SanHi government solutions and previously served in the Ige Administration as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and in the Abercrombie Administration as Deputy Director of Budget and Finance under Kalbert Young.

Maj. Gen. Hara

Major General Kenneth Hara, Adjutant General for the Department of Defense

Maj. Gen. Hara will continue to serve as the Adjutant General. His leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and experience with disaster management are important sources of continuity for the Green Administration and the state, especially with the volcanic eruption at Mauna Loa.

Ed Sniffen

Ed Sniffen, Director of the Department of Transportation

Sniffen most recently served as the Deputy Director for Highways with the Department of Transportation and will drive the department to build on his work, paving lasting change for the State’s infrastructure demands.

Brenna Hashimoto

Brenna Hashimoto, Director of the Department of Human Resources Development

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Hashimoto previously served as a Human Resources Officer in the Department of Human Services where she oversaw the human resources program for over 2,300+ positions and served as member of the negotiating teams for bargaining units 9 and 10. She brings important state institutional knowledge to her new role leading the Department of Human Resources Development.

Keith Regan

Keith Regan, Comptroller for the Department of Accounting and General Services

Regan recently served as a Business Management Officer with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. He previously worked as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and was Managing Director for the County of Maui.

Chris Sadayasu

Chris Sadayasu, Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Sadayasu has over seventeen years of experience as an expert in economic development in the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, and in the department’s various attached agencies including HTA, HCDA, and HHFDC. He most recently served as the Charities Program Administrator with the Department of the Attorney General.

Nadine Ando

Nadine Ando, Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

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Ando has over 40 years of commercial litigation experience including complex work on regulatory and professional licensing. Her proven background with insurance investigations, financial institutions, and consumer protection will help lead the department. Catherine Awakuni Colón will holdover through mid December.

Jade Butay

Jade Butay, Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Butay has tremendous executive experience working as a deputy and director for State departments including workforce development, unemployment, occupational safety and health. He exemplifies the core tenets of trusted, caring, leadership and will help the department execute important workforce development and community services, such as the student helper program and grants-in-aid.

Dr. Kenneth Fink

Dr. Kenneth Fink, Director of the Department of Health

Dr. Fink is an experienced physician executive with a proven background working on health policy at the state and federal levels. He is currently with Hawai‘i Medical Service Association of Hawai‘i as Vice President of Medicaid and Medicare programs and will join the Green Administration in January 2023. Dr. Libby Char will continue as Director of Health with her team until Fink’s start in January 2023.

Cathy Betts

Cathy Betts, Director of the Department of Human Services

Betts will continue in her role as Director of the Department of Human Services. Under her leadership the department worked to meet the dramatic increase in demand for social services head on during the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares Green’s vision to help people first and to lead with empathy.

Jordan Lowe

Jordan Lowe, Director of the Department of Law Enforcement

Lowe will continue in his role as Director of Law Enforcement. He has over 41 years of experience in Law Enforcement which will help the newly created department form, develop its investigation program, and centralize its enforcement functions.

Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson, Director of the Department of Public Safety

Johnson recently served as the Deputy Director for Corrections at the Department of Public Safety. 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.

Gary Suganuma

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 where he supervised and coordinated on legal matters related to the Department of Taxation.

Appointments to Deputy Director of state departments

Kathy Ho, Deputy Director for Environmental Health Administration for the Department of Health

Ho and her team will continue leading efforts following the Red Hill disaster to ensure the defueling and closure of the tanks is done expeditiously and safely. She has a proven track record of over 30 years of leadership taking on environmental issues for the State of Hawai‘i.

Sabrina Nasir, Deputy Director of the Department of Budget and Finance

Nasir most recently served at the Department of Budget and Finance in a role focused on federal funds and as a Senior Special Assistant to the Office of the Governor where she worked on budget and policy issues statewide.

Dane Wicker, Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Wicker most recently worked at the Department of Planning and Permitting with the City and County of Honolulu and previously worked for the Hawai‘i State Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Brigadier General Stephen F. Logan, Deputy Adjutant General of the Department of Defense

Brig. Gen. Logan continues in his role as Deputy Adjutant General. His background leading the Hawai‘i Army National Guard and work on natural disaster management are critical to emergency management efforts in the state.

Marian Tsuji, Deputy Director for Behavioral Health of the Department of Health

Tsuji has 30 years of experience working with disadvantaged populations and has served in various executive administrator positions. Her background will help the Department of Health address mental health disparities and substance abuse with community based programs.

Joseph Campos II, Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services

Campos will continue in his role as Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services. He has built an exceptional working relationship with division leaders across the department and has shown strong leadership and collaboration skills which have helped move operations forward.

Together, the cabinet will work to make housing more affordable, bring down the cost of living, and work everyday to make the government more efficient through strong communication and collaboration.

Green secured twenty executive nominees for fourteen state departments to ensure that workflows are not disrupted. With these announcements, every state department will have an executive in place on Monday, Dec. 5th. The Chairpersons for Departments of Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources and Hawaiian Homelands have terms that end December 31, 2022. Appointments for those departments will be coming soon.

As the transition portal closes today, Dr. Green encourages interested Hawaiʻi residents to apply to serve at every level of government through the hiring portal of the State of Hawaiʻi: jobs.hawaii.gov.

“This is an incredible group of executives that I am proud to have on my team. Together they have an enormous depth of knowledge of the state and are committed to leadership values of compassion and collaboration. As we prepare for the Inauguration, I am filled with strength knowing that we are ready to take the state forward in a productive direction to make housing affordable and address the out of control cost of living.”



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