Office of the Governor: News Release – Governor Green Announces New Cabinet Nominees in the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Posted on May 5, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU, HI  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D. today announced James Kunane Tokioka to serve as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). A former member of the Kaua‘i County Council and Hawai‘i State House of Representatives, Tokioka worked his way through the hotel industry, both here in Hawai‘i and across the United States.

Governor Green said, “Director Tokioka is stepping up to help move foward important priorities for the state. He will immediately hit the ground running and foster collaboration amongst the various attached agencies at DBEDT.”

Tokioka was previously the Director of the Airports Division.  His nomination is subject to Advice and Consent of the Senate.

The Department of Transportation is expected to announce Tokioka’s replacement at the Airports Division in the coming days.

Outgoing nominee, Chris Sadayasu, will return to the Department of the Attorney General.

The search for the next Director of the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development (OPSD) will continue in the coming weeks. Governor Green is committed to finding another qualified candidate who exemplifies the commitment to public service and the duties of the office, including land use, transit-oriented development, coastal zone management, climate adaptation, and other planning requirements for Hawaiʻi. In the meantime, current administrator Mary Alice Evans will serve as Acting Director of OPSD.

Scott Glenn, outgoing nominee for OPSD, will take some time off to spend with family and will return to help the administration work on climate and environmental solutions.

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Media Contacts:   

Erika Engle
Press Secretary
Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Cell: (808) 798-6081
Email: [email protected] 


Makana McClellan
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi
Cell: (808) 265-0083
Email: [email protected]