Office of the Governor – News Release – Governor Green Names Ryan Yamane as Next Director, Department of Human Services

Posted on Mar 8, 2024 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases





Yamane will succeed Betts who will be exiting the post in May 

March 8, 2024

HONOLULU  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D., today named Ryan Yamane to succeed Cathy Betts as the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) when she exits her post this May. Yamane currently serves as the deputy director of the Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD).

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.

Governor Green said, “I have worked side by side with Ryan for nearly two decades, and I am grateful for his willingness to step up, especially in this critical time where we are supporting the housing and recovery of Maui wildfire survivors, as well as the many people across our state who rely on the department. He will immediately work to care for the people of Hawai‘i through the many programs the Department of Human Services offers.”

“That Governor Green has named me to this role is a great honor and I will work hard every day to meet the challenge and live up to his confidence in me,” Yamane said. “Serving the public that relies on DHS services is a role requiring empathy and compassion as well as knowledge of state systems we can leverage to improve lives.”

Yamane’s nomination is subject to advice and consent of the Senate.

The Green Administration will begin its search for Yamane’s successor, who would not start until May at the earliest.

DHS provides important benefits and services that serve as building blocks for individuals and families in need, to achieve self-sufficiency and success on their own terms. The DHS team comprises nearly 2,400 positions across the state. DHS provides benefits and services with one of the largest state department budgets of $4.2 billion, which includes the majority of federal funds the state receives. More than 80% of these funds are distributed as benefits or services. DHS serves one in three Hawai‘i residents.

A picture of Ryan Yamane can be found here. 

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Media Contacts:

Erika Engle
Press Secretary
Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Office: 808-586-0121
Email: [email protected]

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