Gov. Ige Reappoints Department Leaders

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Gov. David Ige has reappointed key leaders at three state departments.

“I have every confidence in these proven leaders and expect they will continue to bring innovative change and greater efficiencies to state government,” said Gov. Ige.

Jade Butay. Courtesy photo.

Director Jade Butay will continue to oversee the state’s 15 commercial and general aviation airports, 10 commercial harbors, and nearly 2,500 lane miles of state highways, tunnels, and bridges. He began his tenure with the DOT as the first deputy director in 2011 until being appointed as deputy director of the department of labor and industrial relations in November 2013. He returned to his position as first deputy at transportation in January 2015 and was appointed director in October 2017.

Butay earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with majors in accounting and finance from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and an M.B.A from Babson College.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve the public in Gov. Ige’s first term, and I am eager to continue the momentum of the administration during the next four years,” said Butay. “In the coming years the public will see noticeable improvements that add efficiency and modernization at our airports, harbors and highways that we all can be proud of.”


Butay’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Department of Taxation

Linda Chu Takayama. Courtesy photo.

Director Linda Chu Takayama and Deputy Damien Elefante will continue in their roles at the Department of Taxation. Both appointments are subject to senate confirmation.

Takayama has been the director since December 2017 and is responsible for the collection of state revenue, which exceeds $7 billion annually. Prior to that, she was the director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and she served as the executive director of the Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the deputy director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and as the Hawai‘i insurance commissioner. Takayama earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Hawai‘i and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia.


Elefante has served as deputy since August 2016. Prior to that he was the compliance coordinator at the department of taxation, and he also served as deputy attorney general for the tax division. In addition, he has experience as an attorney in the private sector. Elefante earned a B.A. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in political science and a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of Gov. Ige’s cabinet and serve the public for the next four years,” said Elefante.

Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD)

Ryker Wada. Courtesy photo.

Gov. Ige has re-appointed Ryker Wada to serve as the director of DHRD. Wada’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.


Wada has served as the director of DHRD since Dec. 2017, prior to that he was the department’s deputy director. He has also served as the Certificated Personnel Regional Officer for the Windward District of the Department of Education (DOE) where he was responsible for human resources and labor relations. Before joining DOE he served as the Managing Attorney for the Honolulu Office of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Wada earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

“It is an honor and privilege to be considered for the position of director of the Department of Human Resources Development,” said Wada. “I thank Gov. Ige for his confidence and support and welcome the opportunity to continue service to our community.”

The deputy position at DHRD is appointed by the director, and Wada has re-appointed Jason Minami to be his deputy. This position is not subject to senate confirmation.

Jason Minami. Courtesy photo.

Minami has been the deputy at DHRD since Feb. 2018. Prior to this he was the senior ethics and compliance consultant at Kamehameha Schools. He also has experience as an attorney in private practice specializing in employment and labor law. Minami has a B.A and an M.A. in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

“It’s an honor to continue to serve the public as part of Gov. Ige’s team, and I look forward to advancing the governor’s initiatives of innovation and efficiency in the Department of Human Resources Development,” said Minami.

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