Governor David Ige Nominates Two Deputy Directors

February 16, 2015, 11:52 AM HST · Updated February 16, 11:53 AM
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State Senator David Ige. Courtesy photo.

Governor David Ige. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Governor David Ige announced the nomination of two deputy directors to his cabinet: Joseph Kim to the Department of Taxation; and Keith Yamamoto has been appointed to remain in his current post as the First Deputy Director of the Department of Health.

Both appointments are subject to state Senate confirmation.

Kim earned his MBA from the City University of Seattle and graduated from the US Air Force Academy with a Bacholor’s Degree in Engineering Mechanics.

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Governor Ige said Kim will redeploy his extensive experience in training and commanding US Air Force and National Guard personnel into “effective administration of the tax laws for the state.”

Brigadier General Kim served as the Deputy Adjutant General, Deputy Commander, Hawaiʻi National Guard since 2011, where he ran the day-to-day operations for the State Department of Defense. Prior to that, he commanded the Air National Guard’s largest Wing, a combat ready 1,900 person flying organization, supporting over 2,500 personnel. He has also trained military pilots and aircrews in various locations throughout the US.

“I’m glad that General Kim has agreed to continue to serve the State of Hawaiʻi,” said Governor Ige in a press release statement. “I’m confident that he will be able to translate his outstanding military record into exceptional results at the Department of Taxation.”

Kim also commented saying, “I’m pleased to be a part of this administration and the Department of Taxation team.  I have confidence in Governor Ige’s leadership and in the men and women who ensure that the State’s revenues are collected and accounted for. Together, we can make a difference.”

Yamamoto was re-appointed to his current post as First Deputy Director of the Department of Health, a post he has held since March 2011.

In his current capacity, he is primarily responsible for overseeing the general administration of the department which includes budget, fiscal, facilities management, human resources, information technology, planning, vital records as well as the District Health Offices on the neighbor islands.

Previously, Yamamoto served as the Chief of the Department of Health-Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division.  His past work history also includes work for the Department of Human Services – Office of Youth Services as the Program Development Administrator; and management of various school-based vocational education and career development programs for at-risk youth while employed with the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Yamamoto received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Services from the University of Northern Colorado, and graduated from Pearl City High School.

“Keith Yamamoto has been a valuable leader within the Department of Health,” said Governor Ige in a statement. “He is well respected and has shown he has the skills to move the department forward. I’m pleased that he will be continuing to provide his steady hand to this administration.”

Yamamoto also responded saying, “It’s been a privilege to work with the Department of Health staff over the years.  The hundreds of committed, hard-working employees put the public interest first, and I’m honored to be part of team.”

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