Tourism Authority selects new cultural affairs director

Tourism Authority selects new cultural affairs director

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Tourism Authority has appointed a new director of cultural affairs months after the previous director's firing drew criticism from the Native Hawaiian community.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Kalani Kaanaana took over the post Monday. He previously served as coordinator of clinical health and community programs in the Native Hawaiian Health Program at The Queen's Health Systems.

Kaanaana has replaced Kelii Wilson, who was dismissed in January. Wilson was credited with building the organization's cultural program and strengthening the relationship between the authority and the Hawaiian community.

At the time of her removal, Wilson said she and the tourism authority's new executive team had different values for the cultural initiative.

George Szigeti, who became the authority's president in May 2015, said Wilson's dismissal was a personnel matter.

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