After hurdle in Senate, Green nominates former DHHL director to lead agency

Kali Watson
Kali Watson(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 4:09 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2023 at 4:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Josh Green has nominated a former director of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to once again lead the agency.

Green said Kali Watson has a proven track record of housing Native Hawaiians, both as leader of DHHL and as chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

The announcement came after Ikaika Anderson withdrew his name for the job after the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs voted against his nomination.

“I am hopeful that state senators and our communities will be supportive of his nomination as we face a critical time in Hawaii,” Green said.

Watson previously led DHHL from 1995 to 1998 — coordinating the development of more than 3,100 residential lots on Hawaiian Home Lands and legislative funding and approval of the $600 million settlement between the state and DHHL, Green said.

The Senate must vote to confirm Watson.