DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS AND DEPUTIES

Posted on Jan 11, 2023 in About Governor Green

 

 Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)

Keith Regan, Comptroller

Keith served as the Business Management Officer for the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, leading coordination efforts with private, state, and county agencies on building management issues, and advising administrators in long-range program planning relating to budget and resource management, expenditure plans, and upgrading processes and systems to improve operational capabilities.

He has also served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, Managing Director, and Director of Finance for the county of Maui.

 

Meoh-Leng Silliman, Deputy Comptroller

Meoh-Leng has served as the Deputy Comptroller since October 2022, having served over 15 years at the State of Hawaiʻi, of which 12 years were in the capacity of Business Management Officer I and II at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and DAGS respectively. In these roles, she has successfully advised and assisted the department Director with policy decisions, executing program initiatives, fiscal management, procurement, and facilities management.

She has also served as a Program and Budget Analysis Manager for the Department of Budget and Finance, Work Program Specialist for the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, and as both the Deputy Director of Fiscal Affairs and Deputy Director of Operations for the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

 

Doug Murdock, Chief Information Officer of Enterprise Technology Services

Doug has served as Chief Information Officer since 2019, overseeing some of the largest technology transitions and initiatives in state history.  He has an outstanding grasp of the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning state government to secure, efficient IT systems.

He has also served as the Comptroller and director of the Department of Accounting and General Services, and as Vice President of Administrative and Fiscal Affairs for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA).  Before joining HTA, he was in private practice with Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing.  He also served in the Air Force for 25 years as a Judge Advocate and attained the rank of Colonel.

Doug earned a J.D. degree, a M.S. degree in public administration, and a B.S. degree in economics from the University of Washington.

 


Department of Agriculture (DOA)

Sharon Hurd, Chairperson, Board of Agriculture

Sharon has over 15 years of experience with the Department of Agriculture, most recently as a Business Development Program Manager. She managed oversight and operational control of grant programs focused on securing and administering federal grants to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food. She proudly worked on the “Buy Local, It Matters,” call to action campaign to encourage residents to purchase locally produced goods.

She also worked for Delta Air Lines as a Cargo Sales Manager, gaining 25 years of experience and insight into air cargo sales, contract negotiation, logistical planning, and customer service. She has a demonstrated track of achievement that spans over 40 years, and a wide range of knowledge with state and federal regulations, specializing in procurement, grant administrations, and contracting procedures.

 

Dexter Kishida, Deputy to the Chairperson

 

 


Department of the Attorney General (AG)

Anne Lopez, Attorney General

Anne has served as Vice President and General Counsel for Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) since January 2021 and May 2015 respectively, leading the in-house legal department, including the corporate director of risk management, a staff of attorneys, and legal support staff in providing legal counsel and healthcare risk management services for Hawaiʻi’s state-owned health care system and its affiliates. She is prepared to take on the legal challenges facing the estate and provide effective leadership to the Department of the Attorney General.

She has also served as HHSC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), as Special Assistant to Attorney General David M. Louie, and as an attorney for Chun Kerr Dodd Beaman & Wong. In these roles, she created opportunities for collaborative processes between elected officials, state agencies, and community stakeholders to facilitate the passage of healthcare legislation and ensured system-wide compliance with federal and state laws.

 

Matthew Dvonch, First Deputy Attorney General

Most recently, Matthew served as Special Counsel to the Prosecuting Attorney at the City and County of Honolulu. He has formulated and implemented policies, set legislative priorities, and worked closely with state and county agencies to address criminal justice issues facing Honolulu.

He has also worked as a Deputy Attorney General for the Department of the Attorney General for nine years, Associate Attorney at Paul Johnson Park & Niles, and as a Research Analyst for the House Finance Committee. In these roles, he oversaw and managed teams of deputy attorney generals and staff, reviewed and synthesized large amounts of information, and gained extensive experience in addressing civil and criminal legal matters.


Department of Budget and Finance (B&F)

Luis Salaveria, Director

Luis has over 30 years of experience in the public and private sector with a demonstrated record of achievement and success in navigating through policy issues, government relations, and budget proceedings. Most recently, he was a Senior Director of Government Affairs at SanHi Government Strategies, leading the development and execution of multi-billion-dollar budgets dealing with complex situations.

He has also served as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism under the Ige administration, the Deputy Director of Finance under the Abercrombie administration, Finance Manager at Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi, Senior Budget Financial Analyst for the Department of Defense, and Budget Supervisor for the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Sabrina Nasir, Deputy Director

Sabrina is a public policy professional with experience in developing, managing, and executing projects in government, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions. She previously served as a Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Governor where she researched policy issues, consulted with stakeholders, and tracked state and federal policy developments to maximize federal funding opportunities for the state. 

She also served as Budget Chief for the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Project Manager for the Harbors Division at the Department of Transportation, Capital Improvements Specialist, Budget Analyst, a researcher at the University of California, Irvine, and as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator for the East-West Center. 

 


Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)

James Tokioka, Director

James Kunane Tokioka was named Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) on May 5, 2023. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for the Department of Transportation’s Airports Division.

Tokioka began his political career as a member of the Kaua‘i County Council in 1996, where he served for 10 years. He then went on to serve for 16 years as a member of the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives.

Prior to his public service, Tokioka worked his way through the hospitality industry, both in Hawai‘i and across the United States, doing everything from bussing tables to managing hotels and owning restaurants. Tokioka has also worked for Oceanic Time Warner Cable/Spectrum, where he oversaw new business management programs and assisted with securing the largest single contract in the company’s history.

Tokioka studied at Holiday University in Mississippi, where he completed the accelerated certification program in Hotel, Food and Beverage, Guest Services, and Security Management.

 

Dane Wicker, Deputy Director

Most recently, Dane served as the Principal Executive Assistant at the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Planning and Permitting, coordinating and communicating administrative decisions, work programs, budgets, and objectives to all stakeholders.

He has also served as the Chief of Staff for Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Assistant to the Director of the Pacific Asian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi East-West Center, and Campaign Chair and Manager for the Friends of Donovan Dela Cruz. In these roles, he prepared, reviewed, and provided recommendations on legislative and grant proposals.

 

Mary Alice Evans,  Director of the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development (OPSD)

 


Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA)

Nadine Ando, Director 

Nadine has over 40 years of experience in commercial, insurance coverage, and business litigation, having worked at Fukunaga Matayoshi Chin & Kon-Herrera, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, Sullivan Meheula Lee, and Carlsmith Ball.

She has also served as the Chairperson of the Hawaiʻi State Judicial Selection Commission, Commissioner for the Hawaiʻi State Ethics Commission, on the Federal Judicial Selection Commission, and as a lawyer-delegate on the Hawaiʻi Judicial Conference for the U.S. District Court. In these roles, she has demonstrated a high degree of integrity, moral courage, and leadership skills with her legal ability and dedicated work ethic.

 

Dean Hazama, Deputy Director

Dean has extensive institutional experience with the department and brings a strong passion to serve the people of Hawaiʻi. Most recently, he served as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, leading in collaboration efforts with all levels of federal, state, and county government agencies as well as corporate enterprises to deliver positive change in our communities. As Director, he managed the financing, budgeting, procurement, contracting, information technology, human resources, and administrative processes and programs.

He has also served as the Business Management Officer for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Chair of the Honolulu Planning Commission at the City and County of Honolulu, Board of Director of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, Management Analyst for the Department of Transportation, Chair of the Hawaiʻi Apprenticeship Council at the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and as the Chief Financial and Operations Officer for New Hope Central Oʻahu.


Department of Defense (DOD)

Major General Kenneth Hara, Adjutant General

Ken has served as the Adjutant General since 2015, leading departmental initiatives relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and maintaining the force structures. In this role, he oversaw disaster response efforts with state, county, federal, and private partners.

Additionally, he has a 37-year career with the Hawaiʻi National Guard, having commanded at every level from a 40-person platoon to the 5,500 soldiers and airmen of the Hawaiʻi National Guard. With his leadership skills, military and emergency management technical expertise, and experience, Ken has proven to be a distinguished leader dedicated to the safety and security of Hawaiʻi’s people.

 

Brigadier General Stephen Logan, Deputy Adjutant General

Stephen has served as the Deputy Adjutant General since 2019, assisting in the management of over 3,100 soldiers to equip, man, and train to respond to overseas and domestic contingency operations. His background leading the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard and work on natural disaster management are critical to emergency management efforts in the state.

He has also served as the Chief of Staff for the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, Deputy United States Property and Fiscal Officer for Hawaiʻi, Brigade Commander of the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and as Deputy Chief of Staff of Aviation for the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. In these roles, Stephen demonstrated a distinguished record of performing management practices to exercise mission command over large formations, generated various forms of communicative products, and managed complex financial programs.

 


Department of Education (DOE)

Keith Hayashi,  Superintendent

Keith T. Hayashi is superintendent of the Hawai‘i public schools system, overseeing 160,000 students, 258 campuses and more than 40,000 employees. Hayashi’s 33-year career with the Department of Education spans the school, complex area and state level. He led Waipahu High School as principal since 2009, a position for which he received numerous accolades, including Hawai‘i High School Principal of the Year and the collegiate Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. He is credited with pioneering the Early College program in Hawai‘i public schools and earned the distinction for Waipahu High as the state’s first nationally recognized wall-to-wall academy model school.

 

Heidi ArmstrongDeputy Superintendent

Heidi Armstrong was named deputy superintendent on Sept. 2, 2022. She served as interim deputy superintendent since Jul. 1 and as assistant deputy superintendent from April–June to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the Office of the Deputy Superintendent.

Deputy Armstrong brings over 30 years of experience spanning school, district and state leadership positions.

She previously served as assistant superintendent for the Office of Student Support Services (OSSS) and as complex area superintendent for the Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area. Prior to becoming CAS in 2012, she was the principal of Iroquois Point Elementary, where she made continuous improvements in school performance and quality. She began her career with the Department as a math teacher at Pohakea Elementary, where she later became vice principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

 

Curt T. Otaguro, Deputy Superintendent

Curt Otaguro was named deputy superintendent of operations on Aug. 18, 2022, and is responsible for the streamlining of department operations to increase effectiveness through the modernization of systems, elimination of duplicate functions, identification and prioritization of needs, increasing and improvement of support for school operations, and the recruitment and retention of qualified staff at the school, complex areas and state levels.

He most recently served as the state comptroller and head of the state Department of Accounting and General Services. Otaguro’s past work includes serving as executive vice president and division manager of the digital banking division at First Hawaiian Bank, where he spent most of his career. He has experience in personal, retail and electronic banking, management and customer service, and holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Redlands.

 

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun was named deputy superintendent of strategy on Aug. 18, 2022, and is responsible for leading, directing and supervising the strategic planning, transformation and modernization, and implementation of the strategic initiatives of the Department.

She rejoins the Department, having previously served as assistant superintendent of the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance from 2015 to 2017. Oyadomari-Chun most recently was interim associate vice president for academic affairs for the University of Hawaii community college system, where she helped secure and implement more than $25 million in grants and contracts for strategic initiatives.

Oyadomari-Chun’s past work also includes serving as vice president at the Hawaii Community Foundation, policy analyst for former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, and executive director of Hawaii P-20. She holds a doctorate in education with a concentration in educational administration from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and a bachelorʻs degree from Pomona College in government and public policy analysis.


Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL)

Kali Watson, Chair 

Kali Watson is an attorney who previously served as the director of DHHL and chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission from 1995 to 1998. During his previous service as DHHL director, he successfully lobbied for $600 million in funding and developed a record 3,100 new homestead lots in four years. He also established many partnerships and utilized various strategies to accelerate the development of homes and increase revenues.

He has served as legal counsel for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and was the president and CEO of Quality Homes of the Pacific, that developed housing on Hawaiian Homestead and private lands. He has extensive experience as a project director for various home projects that have benefitted families in numerous communities from Nānākuli to Waimānalo. Most recently he established a nonprofit corporation focused on developing housing projects, multi-service centers and small commercial/community centers in Hawaiian communities. His previous time in the position and many years of experience in the housing industry has well-prepared him to again serve as director of DHHL.

 

Katie Ducatt, Deputy to the Chair

For nearly seven years, Katie has served as a Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, gaining the background and experience necessary to effectively support its mission at this crucial juncture. She has intimate knowledge of the legal, political, and practical challenges that DHHL, its Commission, and staff face in trying to fulfill its mission to provide homesteads for qualified Native Hawaiians.

She has also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the Child Support Enforcement Agency, Maui branch. In this role, she worked with federal, state, and county agencies to ensure the well-being of children and families by providing essential services and guidance.

 


Department of Health (DOH)

Kenneth “Kenny” Fink, M.D., Director

Most recently, Kenny worked as the Vice President of Medicare & Medicaid programs at the Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association since September 2021. He has gained an intimate knowledge of medicine, public health, and the development of evidence-based health policies.

He has a distinguished track record of successfully leading and building major health organizations, including as the Director of Student Health Services at Kamehameha Schools, Administrator for the state’s Med-QUEST Division, and the Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Region 10.

 

Valerie M. Kato, Deputy Director of Health 

Valerie M. Kato was appointed to serve as the Deputy Director of Health, effective July 27, 2023.  Kato has previously served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Health Division,  providing legal services to the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH), and as First Deputy Attorney General under AG Holly T. Shikada.  Before entering public service, she was in private practice for 17 years, mainly with the law firm of Ning Lilly & Jones, and also formerly clerked for Judge Corinne K.A. Watanabe at the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals.  She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C.  and earned her B.A. in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. As Deputy Director of Health, Kato heads the DOH administrative offices, which oversees the Administrative Services Office (ASO), Health Information Systems Office (HISO), Human Resources Office (HRO), Office of Health Status Monitoring (OHSM), Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development (OPPPD), Office of Affirmative Action (OAA) and the District Health Offices (DHOs).

 

Debbie Kim Morikawa, Deputy Director of Health Resources

Debbie Kim Morikawa was appointed to serve as Deputy Director of Health Resources at the Department of Health, effective February 21, 2023. Morikawa earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. She previously served as Director of the C&C of Honolulu Department of Community Services where she oversaw a range of human services, workforce development and housing programs. Her experience in nonprofit management began as the first Executive Director of the Institute for Human Services and later as the Vice President of Programs at Lanakila Pacific. In the private sector, she served as the administrator of the first assisted living facility in Hawaii, Ponds at Punalu’u, and later as the Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development at HawkTree International. Prior to her appointment, Morikawa operated and still owns GYMGUYZ, an in-home personal training company. As Deputy Director of Health Resources, she oversees Communicable Disease and Public Health Nursing, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Disease Outbreak Control, Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention, Family Health Services, Office of Healthcare Assurance and Office of Medical Cannabis Control.

 

Marian Tsuji, Deputy Director for Behavioral Health

Marian 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.

 

 

Kathleen “Kathy” Ho, Deputy Director for Environmental Health

Kathy has served as Deputy Director for Environmental Health since 2021. She previously served as Deputy Attorney of the Health Division, Department of the Attorney General since 1992. Her extensive litigation background is crucial as the Department works to protect the environment and improve human health for present and future generations.

 


Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD)

Brenna Hashimoto, Director

Brenna has served as the Departmental Human Resources Officer at DHS since 2016, overseeing all aspects of the department’s human resources program including recruitment, position classification, employee benefits, training, employee relations, records management, labor relations, and civil rights compliance for over 2,300 employees.

She has also served as the Director of System Support and Administration, System Director of Human Resources, Associate Director of Human Resources, Human Resources Specialist for University of Hawaiʻi Systems, and Personnel Management Specialist V for the Department of Health. Brenna has a distinguished track record of leading with a strong commitment to provide innovative, creative, and practical solutions to human resources management issues.

 

 


Department of Human Services (DHS)

Ryan Yamane, Director

Yamane is an experienced and dynamic leader with a background as a state Representative and a Clinical Director at Ho‘okūpono. As a state Representative from 2004 to 2023, he chaired various committees including Health, Human Services, and Homelessness, working to address the various labor and training issues each department faced. With this deep understanding, Yamane will support the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Hawai‘i. 

 

 

Joseph Campos, Deputy Director

Joseph has served as the Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services since 2020, supporting the department in various ways during the pandemic, including procuring PPE for staff and contracting providers, to ensure emergency operations and response to the public were supported.

Since 1994, Joseph has served as a State of Hawaiʻi employee in different capacities; at the University of Hawaiʻi, Department of Accounting and General Services, and most recent Department of Human Services. He has extensive administrative experience with a strong understanding of the state system.

 

 


Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)

Jade Butay, Director

For over 15 years, Jade has provided leadership and strategic direction for the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation and DLIR. Jade served as the former Director and Deputy Director of HDOT, ensuring that the transportation needs of the public were being met, and successfully led the completion of four legacy airport projects.

He also served as the Deputy Director of DLIR, advising Governor Abercrombie on matters relating to economic security, physical and financial well-being, the productivity of workers, and the achievement of good labor-management relations. 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.

 

William “Bill” Kunstman, Deputy Director

For over a decade, Bill has served in different roles within DLIR, including as the Public Information Officer, Program Evaluation Analyst VII, Assistant to the Director, and Legislative Coordinator. With this deep understanding and experience, he has successfully navigated through the unique challenges and issues facing the department.

He has also served as a Committee Clerk for state Senator Dwight Takamine and Representative K. Mark Takai, and as an Educational Coordinator for the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi. In these roles, he collaborated with the public and private sectors to maximize resources and deliver services to those in need.


Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)

Dawn Chang, Chairperson 

For over twenty years, Dawn has worked as the Principal of Ho‘ākea LLC dba Ku‘iwalu, a woman-owned, Native Hawaiian business specializing in strategic planning and facilitating conflict resolution for public and private sector projects. Through community building, particularly with Native Hawaiian communities and organizations, she has successfully supported major projects while protecting the integrity of cultural heritage environments.

Previously, she served as a state Land Use Commissioner and Deputy Attorney General. In these roles, she gained a legal background in land use and environmental law.

 

Ryan Kanaka‘ole, Deputy to the Chair

Most recently, Kanaka‘ole worked as a Deputy Attorney General with the Dept. of the Attorney General,  serving as an attorney for the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) and the Mauna Kea Stewardship Oversight Authority. From 2017-2023 he served as the deputy AG for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL).

 He was appointed to the Public Land Trust Working Group due to his expertise on issues related to public land trust. He also was involved in audits of DLNR, the University of Hawai‘i, the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, the Department of Transportation, Department of the Attorney General, the Hawai‘i Energy Office, and the Department of Human Services (DHS).

 


Department of Law Enforcement (DLE)

Jordan Lowe, Director

Jordan has over 40 years of law enforcement experience with various federal, state, and local agencies. Most recently, he has been the Director of DLE and Deputy Director for Law Enforcement for the Department of Public Safety since 2020. In these roles, he initiated the framework development for DLE and has managed administrative oversight for the Sheriff Division and Narcotics Enforcement Division.

He has also served as the Chief Investigator for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney at the City and County of Honolulu, Chief Special Agent at the Department of Taxation, Senior Special Agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and as an Internal Auditor for the Internal Revenue Service. With this extensive experience, he is well-equipped to help form the newly created department, develop its investigation programs, and centralize its enforcement functions.

 

Jared Redulla, Deputy Director of Law Enforcement 

Most recently, Jared was the Chief Investigator of the Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement where he also previously served as a Criminal Investigator and Supervisory Investigator.  In his capacity as the State’s Narcotics Enforcement Chief, Jared was responsible for the regulation of the legitimate controlled substances industries in Hawai‘i, as well as the enforcement of the State’s controlled substances laws.  

He has also served as a Criminal Investigator with the Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and as a Harbors Enforcement Officer with the Department of Transportation.    

 

Michael Vincent, Deputy Director for Administration

Over a span of 32 years, Michael has served in numerous positions at the Department of the Attorney General, including as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General in the Civil Recoveries division, Deputy Attorney General in the Social Services division, and as a Special Deputy Attorney General. In these roles, he worked on innumerable legal, practical, employment, and social issues and challenges. His strong management and legal background will help the new department transition to full operations.

Mark “Dutch” Hanohano, Sheriff

Hanohano brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience to the leadership of the Department of Law Enforcement, having served as U.S. Marshall for the District of Hawai‘i and State Sheriff.  Prior to being named State Sheriff in December 2022, he was previously the state’s Harbor Police Chief, a position he held for the past 11 years, where he worked to ensure the safety and security of the commercial harbors, the state’s lifeline.

 


Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR)

Tommy Johnson, Director 

Tommy has served as the Deputy Director of Corrections for five years, working to reduce recidivism, staff development and training, and developing prison programs centered on education and rehabilitation.

Additionally, he has served as the Administrator of the Hawaiʻi Paroling Authority for 16 years, where he directed and oversaw statewide parole supervision operations, legislative coordination, and improving other areas critical to the department. He has extensive experience in grievance resolution, program development, and legislative coordination. His insights from 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. 

 

Melanie Martin, Deputy Director of Administration

Melanie has been in State service for nearly 32 years.  From 2002 to 2022, she worked in various capacities with the Department of Transportation, most recently as the Civil Rights Manager at the DOT. Melanie was responsible for overseeing the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title VI/Environmental Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs. She ensured that the DOT complied with all federal and state civil rights laws, rules and regulations. Prior to that she was the DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Supervisor. From 1994 to 2002, Melanie served as the Civil Rights Compliance Officer for the Department of Human Services (DHS) and from 1991 to 1994 she was the Income Maintenance Specialist for the DHS Benefit, Employment, and Support Services Division.

Melanie graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1885 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  She is currently working on her Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from UH Manoa’s School of Public Administration. From 2007 to present, Melanie has also served as President and Director of Hawaii Construction Career Days, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established to provide Hawaii youth with an insight into career opportunities in the multi-faceted construction industry. 

 

Sanna Muñoz, Deputy Director of Rehabilitation Services and Programs Division

Sanna Muñoz, a seasoned professional with over 26 years of experience in the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary, has been appointed as the Deputy Director for Corrections (DEP-C) by the Department of Public Safety (PSD), effective from August 1, 2023.

With a career that began in 1997 as a clerk III with the Juvenile Client Services Branch, Sanna has steadily climbed the ranks, showcasing her dedication and expertise. Her journey led her to become a probation supervisor for the domestic violence unit in the Third Circuit of Hawaiʻi Island.

Sanna’s educational background is equally impressive, holding degrees from Hawaiʻi Community College, Iowa Ashford University, and the University of Central Missouri.

While her initial appointment is as DEP-C, she is set to transition into the role of Deputy Director for Rehabilitation, Programs, and Services on January 1, 2024, coinciding with the expected separation of the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Law Enforcement. This restructuring will rename the Department of Public Safety as the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

 

Pamela Sturz, Deputy Director for Correctional Institutions

Sturz has more than 30 years of leadership experience in corrections. She served as a deputy warden for the Stanley Correctional Institution in Wisconsin and deputy warden for the Racine Correctional Institution before her appointment as warden for both the Stanley Correctional Institution and Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility.

From 2005 to 2008, Sturz simultaneously oversaw the Stanley Correctional Institution and Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility. As warden, she established community relations boards and collaborated with community partners including city officials and law enforcement agencies. 

Sturz continued to serve as warden at Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility until 2014, where she managed the largest Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility in the state. Sturz also developed restorative justice initiatives through community service projects.

Following retirement from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 2019, she worked on international prison reform as a contracted senior corrections advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program in the Republic of Kosovo, and more recently, the Republic of North Macedonia.


Department of Taxation (DOTAX)

Gary Suganuma, Director

Gary has served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the Department of the Attorney General, Tax & Charities division since 2017. He managed and coordinated legal services related to the matters of tax appeal, foreclosure, bankruptcy, administrative rulemaking procedures, legislative efforts, and fundraising.

He also previously served as the Deputy Attorney General for the Department of the Attorney General, Education division for six years, leading all aspects of litigation and settlement cases for the Department of Education and Board of Education.

 

Kristen Sakamoto, Deputy Director

Most recently, Kristen served as the Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu, advising the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, Office of Economic Revitalization, and City Council on tax law and finance-related matters, including general excise tax, real property tax, public service company tax, and the transient accommodations tax.

She has also served as an Administrative Rules Specialist for DOTAX, as Deputy Attorney General in the Tax and Charities division, and as the Deputy Corporation Counsel tasked with assisting with the establishment of the county transient accommodations tax. In these roles, she helped produce sound tax policies, procedures, and strategies to develop best practices.

 


Department of Transportation (DOT)

Edwin “Ed” Sniffen, Director

Ed served as a Deputy Director for DOT-Highways since 2015, leading the modernization efforts for highways statewide and leveraged highway resources toward the state’s highest priorities, including the piloting of green materials for broad construction use, increasing public access to data, and building broadband infrastructure to underserved communities.

He has also served as an Executive Assistant to Mayor Kirk Caldwell, DOT Administrator, DOT Technical Design Engineer, Senior Program Manager for Sandwich Isles Communications, and as the Director of the Capital Program Management Division for Kamehameha Schools. In these roles, he advanced efforts aimed at improving divisional consistency, efficiency, and accountability through collaboration with federal, state, and county partners.

 

Tammy Lee, Deputy Director for Administration 

Over 18 years, Tammy has served in numerous administrative positions for the Department of Transportation, including as the Administrative Services Officer, Business Management Officer, Contracts Officer, and as a Civil Rights Specialist. Her distinguished record has proven that she is a highly dependable, ethical, and reliable leader with extensive experience in organizational, budgetary, procurement, and fiscal initiatives and issues.

 

 

Robin Shishido, Deputy Director for Highways

Robin has served as the District Engineer in the Highways Division for Maui District since 2017, leading the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of state highways on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi. He also supported the department’s fleet conversion to EVs, implemented the Wikiwiki hiring program, and administered the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.

He has also served as a Civil Engineer V for the Department of Accounting and General Services, Program Manager for Maricopa Department of Transportation in Arizona, Principal Project Engineer for the Guam Department of Public Works, Senior Project Engineer for the California Department of Transportation, and as a Project Engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation. With a track record of initiative and dependability, Robin will leverage his engineering background to pave lasting impacts on our highway systems statewide.

 

Dreanalee “Dre” Kalili, Deputy Director for Harbors

Most recently, Dre served as the Special Projects Manager for the department’s highways division, leading the $25 million broadband pilot project to fiber-enable highway facilities and provide free high-speed internet service in eight underserved communities statewide. She also collaborated with federal, state, and county stakeholders to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and worked to expend this new funding, and prepared discretionary grant applications for various highway programs.

She also served as an Interim Deputy Director and Executive Assistant for the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services, Business Development Manager for DOT, Policy and Program Analyst for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and as a Projects Director for Government Affairs and Business Development for the Native Affairs and Development Group in Washington D.C.


Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority 

Hakim Ouansafi, Executive Director 

Hakim Ouansafi is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, one the largest Housing Authorities in the nation,  responsible for billions of dollars of Federal and State housing assets and programs. He was one of the founders and served as President & CEO for Diamond Hotels & Resorts, First Commercial Consulting Services, Mikah Import & Export, and SILAH LLC. 

Hakim was also one of the founders of the Hawaii Coalition for Civil Rights and served as a Civil Service Commissioner for the C&C of Honolulu. Hakim is well known for his decades of public service and leadership and is currently taking on many volunteer roles in nonprofit boards including the Interfaith Alliance Hawaii, SILAH for orphans, and Board Chair for the Muslim Association of Hawaii. Hakim Ouansafi has been recognized with numerous honors, awards, and accommodations, including the Flame of Hope Award, Hawaii Man of the Year, the State of Hawaii decreeing May 14th,  his birth date, as “Hakim Ouansafi Recognition & Appreciation Day”, the Hawaii State Legislature and Senate’s “Recognition and Honor for Outstanding Achievement and Service to the People of Hawaii”, C&C of Honolulu “Honor for Ultimate Dedication, Hard Work and Tenure for Hakim’s never-ending work for the greater good of the State of Hawaii”. His lifelong commitment to social justice and philanthropic initiatives has earned him the world’s prestigious international Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Ecole de Commerce de Lyon,  France, and was awarded for Hakim’s “humanitarian and charitable actions both in the areas of housing and in that no less important of access to water and the link between the different religious communities in the Pacific”


University of Hawai‘i

David Lassner, President

Lassner was appointed interim University of Hawai‘i president effective September 1, 2013. Since joining the University of Hawai‘i in 1977, Lassner has held a series of progressively more responsible technical, management and executive positions supporting the broad use of information technologies across the full mission of the university throughout the State. Lassner is also a member of the University’s Cooperating Graduate Faculty and has taught, both in-person and on-line, in the UH Department of Information & Computer Science, the College of Business Administration, the School of Communication and the College of Education as well as at Roosevelt University.  Lassner has also served on the faculty of management institutes for IT leaders nationally and internationally. Prior to joining the University of Hawai‘i, David worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a student programmer on courseware development teams working with the PLATO system at the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory. Lassner holds an AB summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in economics, and an MS in computer science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He earned a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawai‘i.