Governor Appoints New Deputies

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie
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Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the following appointments to the Abercrombie Administration:

·        Michelle Kauhane as Deputy to the Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission
·        Jan Gouveia as Deputy Director of the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)


Ms. Kauhane completes the three-person team — all are current or former Hawaiian homestead residents — leading the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), joining Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Alapaki Nahale-a and Chief of Staff M. Waialeale Sarsona.  Ms. Kauhane is a resident of the Kaupea Hawaiian homestead community in Kapolei.

“Michelle Kauhane has skills and experience which will be invaluable in achieving our mission at DHHL,” Chairman Nahale-a said. “She has a long history of serving Native Hawaiians, and her knowledge in affordable housing will help Native Hawaiians build financial assets, making their families more self-sufficient and better able to create economic opportunities for themselves.”

“I look forward to continuing to serve the Hawaiian community,” said Ms. Kauhane. “It is an honor to be part of the team working to advance the mission of the Trust with a voice to empower beneficiaries.”

Ms. Kauhane replaces retiring DHHL Deputy Robert Hall, who is leaving the department on July 1.

Ms. Gouveia, currently the Deputy Director for Administration for the Department of Transportation, replaces Ryan Okahara, who left on June 3 to join the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Among other responsibilities, Ms. Gouveia will work with the state’s new Chief Information Officer, Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, to transform the state’s technology.  Ms. Gouveia was a part of the DAGS selection process for the state’s current technology system assessment.

“Jan Gouveia is uniquely qualified with great problem-solving skills.  She has the creative talent that’s needed now as we take on this task of fixing government’s technology system,” said Bruce Coppa, Director of DAGS.

“I’ve enjoyed my time with the team at the Transportation Department, but am looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Hawai’i at DAGS.  Making government more efficient is essential to what we’re doing in all departments to fulfill Governor Abercrombie’s New Day,” Ms. Gouveia said.

Governor Abercrombie is interviewing candidates to find a replacement as Deputy Director for DOT.


  • Michelle Kauhane has served as Executive Director of Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) since 2006. HCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency with a particular focus on serving Native Hawaiians.
  • Ms. Kauhane is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Gonzaga University. She also serves the community as a board member of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA); Board Chair of the Native Hawaiian Policy Center of CNHA; former Board President of the Honolulu Habitat for Humanity; board member, National Coalition of Asian Pacific Community Development; Vice President, O’ahu Moku Puni Council; and is the President of the Kaupea Homestead Association.
  • Jan Gouveia was the vice president for Executive Operation at Waimana Enterprise prior to joining the Abercrombie Administration in December 2010. She previously served as the chief legal counsel for the Board of Water Supply, and the associate legal counsel and director of risk management at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Ms. Gouveia holds an MBA and law degree from Gonzaga University; and a bachelor’s degree of political science from UH-Manoa. She is a graduate of ‘Iolani School.

Submitted by the governor’s office