President Obama Nominates Esther Kia'aina for Interior Position

September 11, 2013

President Obama nominated Esther Puakela Kia'aina for the position of U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs. She will replace Acting Assistant Secretary Eileen Sobeck who replaced former Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta.

A native Hawaiian, Kia'aina was born in Guam before moving with her family to Hawaii.

I knew Esther in the 1990's when she worked for former Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI). We worked with her regarding CNMI labor and human rights abuse reform.

Kia'aina also worked on Capitol Hill as Chief of Staff to former U.S. Rep. Ed Case Case (D-HI)  and former Guam Delegate Robert Underwood. She currently serves as the First Deputy of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

I am excited about her appointment as she will bring much knowledge and experience to this position!


Angelo Villagomez said...

I hope the DLNR position on the state and territorial shark fin bans follow her to C Street.

Anonymous said...

We hope the new OIA AS will rescind the decision of the current AAS to close the CNMI Ombudsman's office on Sept. 30/2013. The closure decision of the Ombudsman office deserves a thorough review by the upcoming AS, we believe. Lets see how she respond to our appeal.