East Hawaii News

Chinen Named to OYS Lead Role

February 13, 2016, 1:57 PM HST
* Updated February 13, 12:12 AM
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Merton Chinen. State of Hawai'i courtesy photo.

Merton Chinen. State of Hawai’i courtesy photo.

Merton Chinen was recently appointed by Governor David Ige to a lead role within the Office of Youth Services, an administratively-attached office to the Department of Human Services.

For more than 25 years, Chinen has worked at the Department of Human Services. During that time, he spent 13 years as an assistant program administrator and a social worker for foster care youth and adoptions before moving to OYS.

Within OYS, Chinen spent 16 years as a youth specialist, program development officer, and was most recently its acting executive director.

“Merton brings decades of invaluable experience to his position as executive director of OYS. He understands what it takes to move our youth forward in their lives and guide them as they become contributing members of our community,” said Governor Ige.

In addition to his professional experience, Chinen has worked with the Aloha Council Boy Scouts Troop 164, Central O‘ahu Youth Baseball League, and Hospice of Tacoma. He continues to be involved with the Hawai‘i Forgiveness Project and the Hawai‘i Center for Attitudinal Healing.


“I appreciate and am humbled by the Governor’s confidence and support. I look forward to leading our team and continuing to integrate holistic approaches to heal and build resilience in Hawai‘i’s youth and families,” said Chinen.


Chinen earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from Pacific Lutheran University and his Master of Social Work from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Chinen’s appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.

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