Masagatani Appointed as New Hawaiian Homelands Director

May 11, 2012, 1:25 PM HST · Updated May 11, 1:26 PM
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DHHL Hawaiian Homelands Lealii subdivision in West Maui. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands has a new director.  Governor Neil Abercrombie today appointed Jobie Masagatani to the post, to fill the vacancy left by Alapaki Nahale-a, who officially resigns from his post on May 15.

Masagatani previously served as DHHL Deputy Director from 1995 to 2002, and leaves her most recent post as a Special Assistant to the CEO at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Prior to OHA, Masagatani served as an assistant to the President and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems where she facilitated development of the strategic plan to address Native Hawaiian health. She also previously served as a Land Investment Analyst for Kamehameha Schools.

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“I am deeply committed to the Native Hawaiian community and am very familiar with DHHL’s internal operations, funding, unique challenges and ambitious mission,” said Masagatani. “I am looking forward to working with Deputy Director Michelle Kauhane and the dedicated staff who share a passion for service to Native Hawaiians and all of Hawai’i.”

In announcing the appointment today, Gov. Abercrombie said, “Jobie worked in both the public and private sectors as well as with federal agencies on improving conditions for Native Hawaiians. She understands the challenges and the importance of engaging beneficiaries and is ready to hit the ground running.”

Masagatani, 47, earned a master’s degree in public affairs/urban and regional planning from Princeton University, and bachelor’s of science degree in education from Northwestern University.

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