Governor Ige Names Additional Cabinet Members
By Maui Now Staff
Governor David Ige today announced the appointments of six additional members to his Cabinet and two deputy directors. All appointments are still subject to confirmation by the State Senate.
The Governor also announced the appointments of his deputy chief of staff, and four individuals to head the Departments of the Accounting and General Services, Attorney General, Health, and Human Services, until appointments to fill the positions for the duration of his term are made.
In addition, Ige said the directors and deputy directors of the remaining departments will either continue to serve as hold-overs, or serve until their terms expire on Dec. 31, 2014, until appointments can be made to fill their positions for the next four years.
“We are committed to finding the best and brightest in our community to serve as effective leaders in state government,” said Governor Ige in a press release announcement. “These appointments show a variety of talented and dedicated individuals from both the public and private sectors, who have decided to work together to create a better Hawaiʻi for future generations.”
Wesley Machida has been named Director of Finance and the head of the Department of Budget and Finance. Machida is currently the executive director of the state’s $14 billion Employees’ Retirement System. His other work experience has been as an assistant auditor with the Office of the Auditor and assistant administrator for the Child Support Enforcement Agency. Machida is a former Certified Public Accountant. He worked for various public accounting firms before and in-between his employment with the state, with his last private sector employment as a Senior Audit Manager with Grant Thornton LLP. Machida graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with an MBA in Business Administration and BA in Economics.
Douglas G. Murdock was named Comptroller and will head the Department of Accounting and General Services beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Murdock is currently serving as the vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, a position he has held since Aug. 2012. Prior to joining the HTA, Murdock was in private practice with local law firm Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing. Prior to that, he served in the Air Force for 25 years as an attorney and attained the rank of Colonel. Murdock has a BS in Economics, a MS in Public Administration and a JD from the University of Washington.
James Nishimoto was named director for the Department of Human Resources Development. He has 38 years of government service, including past service as executive assistant to the President of the University of Hawaiʻi; vice president for Budget and Finance/Chief Financial Officer, University of Hawaiʻi; director of Academic Personnel Administration, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaiʻi System; associate director of Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi System Office; deputy director, DHRD; administrator, Collective Bargaining and Negotiations, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. Nishimoto’s degrees include: Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California; MA, Business Personnel Administration/Public Administration from Central Michigan University; and MA, Public Administration Central Michigan University; and BS, University of Kentucky.
Luis P. Salaveria was named director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Salaveria has more than 20 years of public and private sector experience, most recently serving as the deputy director of finance where he assisted the director of finance in the planning, design and management of the annual $12 billion operational and $3 billion capital improvement budgets of the State of Hawaiʻi; and managing the State Treasury with more than $3 billion in assets. Salaveria holds a degree in economics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and earned his Fiduciary Trustee Certificate from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Mary Alice Evans will continue her service as deputy director at DBEDT. She assumed the post in April 2011 after working as an employee of the Department for 33 years and serving as DAGS’ deputy comptroller for two years. Evans has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, is a previous president of the Hawaiʻi Chapter of American Planning Association and chair of the Honolulu City Planning Commission.
Rachael Wong will serve as the director of the Department of Human Services, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Wong most recently served as the vice president and chief operating officer of the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi. Wong holds degrees from Princeton University, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Pacific Business News “Forty Under 40” award recipient, a Pacific Century Fellow, St. Francis International Center for Healthcare Ethics Bioethics Fellow and is currently enrolled in the Omidyar Fellows program.
Maria Zielinski will serve as the director of Taxation and head of the Department of Taxation. She previously served as Hawaiʻi deputy Comptroller, and served as accounting administrator for the County of Maui. In the private sector Zielinski served as chief financial officer for the California School Employees Association, Haleakalā Ranch, Haleakalā Dairy, and the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation.
Pankaj Bhanot will serve as deputy director at the Department of Human Services. He is currently serving as the department’s division administrator for the Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division. Bhanot previously served as the deputy director for DHS from Dec. 2010 to Jan. 2012. Bhanot has a BA with Honors in Political Science; and LL.B. from the University of Delhi; an LL.M. degree from the Cornell University Law School; and completed post-graduate research in Public International Law at the School of Law, University of Nottingham.
Laurel A. Johnston will serve as Governor Ige’s deputy chief of staff. Johnston is the former director of the University of Hawaiʻi System Budget Office. Prior to her 28-year career in with the office, Johnston served as assistant senate clerk for the Hawaiʻi Senate, assistant superintendent for Planning and Budgeting at the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, and executive director of the Hawaiʻi Uninsured Project. She has a Master of Science degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology, both from Florida State University.
Scott Enright will continue to serve as the chairperson of the Board of Agriculture; Jobie Masagatani will continue to serve as the chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission; and William J. Aila. Jr. will continue to serve as the chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, until their terms expire on Dec. 31, 2014.
The following directors and deputies have agreed to continue serving as heads and deputy directors of their respective departments as holdovers:
- Ken Kakesako, deputy to the chairperson of the Board of Agriculture
- Darrell T. Young, deputy to the chairman, Hawaiian Homes Commission
- Kealii Lopez, director, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
- Jo Ann Uchida Takeuchi, deputy director, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
- Jesse Souki, first deputy to the chairperson, Board of Land and Natural Resources
- Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, adjutant general and director of civil defense, Department of Defense
- Brig. Gen. Joe Kim, deputy adjutant general
- Gary Gill, deputy director, Environmental Health Administration, Department of Health
- Dr. David Sakamoto, deputy director, Health Resources Administration, DOH
- Lynn Fallin, deputy director, Behavioral Health Administration, DOH
- Ted Sakai, director, Department of Public Safety
- Dwight Takamine, director, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Until appointments can be made to fill the positions for the duration of Governor Ige’s term, the following employees and former first deputy directors of DAGS, the Department of the Attorney General, DHS, and DOH have been appointed to head those departments:
- Kerry Yoneshige, DAGS
- Russell Suzuki, Department of the Attorney General
- Barbara Yamashita, DHS
- Keith Yamamoto, DOH