East Hawaii News

Gov. Ige Appoints New Directors

January 6, 2015, 6:50 AM HST
* Updated January 6, 7:01 AM
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Governor David Ige announced on Monday that Elizabeth Kim will become the new director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, while Cindy McMillan takes over as Director of Communications.

Kim’s current position is in President Barack Obama’s administration as the Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the United State Department of Labor in Washington D.C. In her position as director, she served as a much needed member of the senior leadership team, which advises the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Labor.

In a previous role, Kim served as the White House Liaison for the Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Defense. She has also been the Administrator of the Business and Professional Licensing Administration at the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

“Elizabeth brings executive management experience in federal, state, and local level policy formation. She is a proven leader that has demonstrated success in managing a large staff as well as implementing major programs and initiatives at a high level,” Gov. Ige said. “Elizabeth’s wealth of knowledge, national experience, and leadership equips her to lead the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.”

Earning her bachelor degree from Pomona College, Kim went on to earn her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. She was president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater Washington, D.C. and Chair of the D.C. Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Kim graduated from Kaiser High School.

Cindy McMillan. Courtesy photo.

Cindy McMillan. Courtesy photo.


In McMillan’s most recent position, she led advocacy and communication efforts for Pacific Resource Partnership. In prior roles, she was the executive vice president at Communications Pacific, a role in which she led the firm’s community relations and public affairs team.


Other previous experience gained by McMillian was in serving as a legislative aide to members of the Honolulu City Council. In this role, she helped develop legislative strategies and worked closely with city and state agencies, neighborhood boards, the Legislature, the media, and constituents.

“Cindy brings superior organizational skills along with a wealth of experience in strategic communication planning and implementation,” Gov. Ige said. “Her experience in the public and private sector along with her demonstrated commitment to our community make her a valuable asset to our team.”

In 1996, McMillian left her job as assistant director of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies in Washington D.C. and moved to Hawai’i. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Columbia Union College.


“I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with Governor Ige to ensure that his priorities are communicated accurately and the public is informed about the administration’s decisions,” McMillian said.

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