East Hawaii News

Souki to Replace Kia`aina at DLNR Post

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A new deputy director has been named for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to replace Esther Kia`aina, who has been selected by President Obama for a US Department of Interior post.

Jesse Souki, currently director of the state Office of Planning, will take over the DLNR’s second-highest post on March 1o.

Souki, 40, is an attorney with extensive experience in land-use law in both the private and public sectors.

He previously served as a deputy corporation counsel with the counties of Maui and Honolulu. He is active in the Hawaii State Bar Association where he serves as treasurer for its Natural Resources Section and is co-chair of the Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Committee.

Souki earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and a law degree from Seattle University.

Esther Kia`aina. Courtesy photo.

Esther Kia`aina. Courtesy photo.

“We look forward to welcoming Jesse to our DLNR ‘ohana,” DLNR Director William J. Aila Jr. said in a statement. “He knows our leadership team very well as we already work closely with him and the Office of State Planning on climate change, ocean resources, and other important natural resource management issues.”

Kia`aina’s nomination to be assistant secretary for insular affairs at the Department of Interior is subject to confirmation by the US Senate.


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