(BIVN) – A new first deputy has been named for the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Governor Josh Green on Friday announced his nomination of Ryan Kanaka‘ole, who is currently a Deputy Attorney General, to fill the DLNR position that is being vacated by Laura Kaʻakua, who is moving to the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.
Kanaka‘ole will begin as DLNR first deputy on Tuesday, January 16th. The nomination will need to be confirmed by the Hawai‘i State Senate.
Kanaka‘ole most recently served as an attorney for the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation, the State says, as well as the Mauna Kea Stewardship Oversight Authority. He was the deputy Attorney General for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands from 2017 to 2023. He was also appointed to the Public Land Trust Working Group.
“We are so fortunate to have someone with Ryan’s deep understanding of state government operations, including those of the DLNR,” Chair Dawn Chang said. “He will be instrumental in continuing to build relationships with stakeholders, lawmakers, and communities and fostering DLNR’s conservation mission.”
“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity from Governor Green and Chair Chang to continue serving Hawaiʻi by upholding the responsibilities entrusted to DLNR in safeguarding and nurturing our lands, waters, and culture for future generations,” Kanakaʻole said.
Outgoing DLNR deputy Kaʻakua has accepted a new role working on Native Hawaiian Issues for the Hawaiʻi DOT.
“Laura has served the department and the people of Hawai‘i with passion and humility, especially in ‘āina based communities,” said DLNR Chair Chang. “I am confident she will continue to build bridges, with her dedication and commitment, leading to better government and a more sustainable future.”