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Council confirms Josiah Nishita as Managing Director : Maui Now

Josiha Nishita. PC: County of Maui

The Maui County Council today confirmed Mayor Richard Bissen’s appointment of Josiah Nishita to head the Department of Management. 

Nishita has served as the deputy managing director for the County of Maui since 2020 and as Acting Director since the retirement of Kekuhaupio “Keku” Akana on Dec. 31, 2023. 

Nishita is also head of the newly formed Office of Recovery, established to guide efforts following the fire disasters.


The Department of Management oversees the county’s 17 departments.

Nishita also served as County Clerk and was Deputy County Clerk for nearly seven years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from George Fox University and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaiʻi Shidler College of Business.

“Josiah is an exceptional leader who is well respected for his diligence, commitment to excellence, and care for our community,” Mayor Bissen said. “I look forward to having him lead a critical department and serve as the Administrationʻs second in command.”


Mayor Bissen also has appointed Keanukapulani “Keanu” Lau Hee as Deputy Managing Director. Lau Hee has served as a planner and executive assistant in the Department of Management. She has assisted the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director on special projects and has overseen state and federal grant funding for multimillion-dollar County projects within the Department of Management. In response to the August 2023 fires, she has helped in the Office of Recovery and has worked with federal and state agencies to develop and implement recovery strategies, according to a county news release.

Lau Hee, who has been employed with the County since 2014, previously served as Staff Specialist in the Maui Emergency Management Agency, Planner V in the Department of Planning and Business Continuity Plan Coordinator in the Department of Management’s Information Technology Services Division.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History – Asia and The Pacific from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She also holds a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management from the University of Hawaiʻi, West Oʻahu and a Basic Academy Certificate from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland.


“Keanuʻs depth of experience will serve our community well as we work to help our residents throughunprecedented times,” Mayor Bissen said. “She has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her oversight of complex projects, and her contributions will make a difference.”

Source: Maui News

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