Gov. Ige Appoints More Leaders

January 2, 2019, 1:36 PM HST (Updated January 2, 2019, 1:36 PM)
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Gov. David Ige is reappointing the director and deputy at Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and is appointing a new state chief information officer. In addition, deputies at the Department of Health have been named.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL)

Jobi Masagatani. Courtesy photo.

Jobie Masagatani will be retained as chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, a position she’s held since May 2012. Prior to her appointment at DHHL, Masagatani was special assistant to the chief executive officer at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Before serving at OHA, she owned a small consulting practice and was also an assistant to the President and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems, where her area of focus was Native Hawaiian health. Masagatani previously served at DHHL as the Deputy to the Chairman from 1995 to 2002 and served as a Land Investment Analyst for Kamehameha Schools. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs/urban and regional planning from Princeton University and holds a B.S. degree in education from Northwestern University.

Masagatani’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.

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William Ailā, Jr. will also be continuing in his role as the deputy director to the chairman at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, a position he’s held since 2014. He is the former chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and served as the Harbor Agent for the Wai‘anae Boat Harbor from 1987-2010. In addition, Mr. Ailā has participated on several boards and task forces centered around native Hawaiian rights and natural resource management including the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council, Mohala I Ka Wai, Hui Malama ‘O Makua and others. Ailā holds a B.S. degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

William Ailā, Jr. Courtesy photo.

Ailā’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.

“This leadership team has made significant progress in awarding homesteads by embracing a combination of traditional lot development and pilot programs that provide alternatives such as rent-to-own projects and subsistence agricultural homesteads. They are committed to completing and awarding 374 lots in 2019 and 1,300 additional lots currently in the pipeline to be developed over the next five years,” said Gov. Ige.

“I am very appreciative of the governor’s support, and I look forward to continuing the positive steps we have taken at DHHL to achieve Prince Kūhiō’s vision of ʻĀina Hoʻopulapula and to advance our mission to manage the Hawaiian home lands trust effectively and to develop and deliver land to native Hawaiians,” said Masaganti.

“I am proud of the work Chair Masagatani and I have been able to accomplish these past years, and we have much to look forward to as we continue to advance new projects for our homesteaders and applicants,” said Ailā.

Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS)

Douglas G. Murdock

Douglas G. Murdock returns to a leadership role in the administration as chief information officer, Office of Enterprise Technology Services. He previously served as state comptroller and director of the Department of Accounting and General Services, and as vice president, Administrative and Fiscal Affairs for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA). Before joining HTA, he was in private practice with local law firm Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing. Prior to that, he served in the Air Force for 25 years as a Judge Advocate (attorney) and attained the rank of Colonel. Murdock has a B.S. degree in economics, an M.S. in public administration and a J.D. from the University of Washington.

Murdock’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.

“Doug has an outstanding grasp of the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning state government to secure, efficient IT systems,” said Gov. Ige. “We are dedicating significant resources to this task, and I’m confident that he will work with all stakeholders to develop sound solutions.”

“I am honored to be selected by Gov. Ige as the state’s chief information officer,” said Murdock. “I look forward to working with Gov. Ige on his priority of effective, efficient and open government. Together we will continue the outstanding work done by outgoing CIO Todd Nacapuy and the state’s digital workforce by blending innovative technology with well-engineered business processes to deliver and support excellent programs and outcomes for our citizens.”

Department of Health (DOH) Deputies

Cathy Ross. Courtesy photo.

Cathy Ross, who was deputy director for administration in the Department of Public Safety during Gov. Ige’s first term, has been appointed first deputy at the Department of Health were she previously held several positions before moving to Public Safety in 2012. Cathy earned three degrees at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – a B.A. in psychology, M.P.H. in public health, and an M.B.A. from the Shidler College of Business Executive MBA program.

Ross’ appointment is subject to senate confirmation.

“Cathy’s commitment to public health and her focus on improving performance and accountability will help to ensure that our state’s healthcare system provides access to treatment and is affordable for all Hawaiʻi residents,” said Gov. Ige.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as part of Director Nolan Espinda’s team these past four years,” said Ross. “I thank Gov. Ige for this exciting opportunity to integrate the perspectives of public safety and health to support his vision for changing the trajectory of our state. I thank Gov. Ige for this wonderful opportunity to continue serving our great community.”

DOH deputies appointed by Director Anderson and not subject to senate confirmation:

  • Keith Kawaoka is being reappointed to the position of deputy director of the department of health – environmental health administration.
  • Danette Wong Tomiyasu is being reappointed to the position of deputy director of the department of health – health resources administration.
  • Edward Mersereau is being appointed to the position of deputy director of the department of health – behavioral health administration.
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