Who Did Gov. Ige Nominate for new Mauna Kea Stewardship Authority?

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Mauna Kea observatories at the summit of the dormant volcano on the Big Island.

For the newly established Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige today submitted the names of eight nominees to the Hawaiʻi State Senate for confirmation.

The authority was established by state statute during the 2022 legislative session to manage lands on Maunakea on the Big Island. After a joint five-year transition period, the authority will assume the governance and management responsibility over the master land lease from the University of Hawaiʻi.

The authority was created as a result of years of protests about the telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea desecrating what some Native Hawaiians consider to be their most sacred mountain.

“Through this new stewardship model, I believe we can find a way for science and culture to coexist on Mauna Kea in a mutually beneficial way,” Gov. Ige said in a news release.


The nominees:

Kamanamaikalani Beamer: He has ʻāina (land) resource management expertise and specific experience with Hawaiʻi island‑based management.

Gary Krug: He is an expert in the fields of pre-school through 12th-grade public education or post-secondary education.

Rich Matsuda: He is a representative from a list of three names submitted by Mauna Kea Observatories.


John Komeiji: He has business and finance experience, and he has previous administrative experience in managing a large private-sector business.

Pomaikai Bertelmann: She is a lineal descendent of a practitioner of Native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices associated with Mauna Kea.

Joshua Mangauil: He is a recognized practitioner of Native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices.

Paul Horner: He is a representative from a list of three names submitted by the President of the Senate.


Michelle “Noe Noe” Wong-Wilson: She is a representative from a list of three names submitted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In addition to the eight names submitted to the Senate for confirmation, three ex-officio, voting members will serve on the authority:

  • The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, or the chairperson’s designee. This position is currently held by Chair Suzanne Case.
  • The mayor of the County of Hawaiʻi, or the mayor’s designee. Mayor Mitch Roth has designated Douglass Shipman Adams, director of research and development management.
  • The chairperson of the board of regents of the University of Hawaiʻi, or a designee. Chairperson Randy Moore has designated Eugene Bal III, a current member of the board of regents.

The Chancellor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Authority. This position is currently held by Chancellor Bonnie Irwin.

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