Sunday, June 17, 2001

OHA logo

6 finalists for
OHA administrator
job will begin

The person selected will
need to lead OHA in a
tumultuous time

By Pat Omandam

The six finalists for administrator at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have backgrounds in government, business and community work, according to a confidential list of candidates obtained by the Star-Bulletin.

And they'll need to bring that and more to the oval koa table in the OHA boardroom this week if they want to convince a majority of trustees they are the right person for the $85,302-year-job.

The board tomorrow begins closed-door interviews with each finalist, with a decision set for Thursday. The casting call, organized by independent consultant Inkinen & Associates, is aimed at choosing a replacement to current administrator Randy Ogata, whose contract expires at month's end.

Ogata has not reapplied for his job, but the board could extend his contract if there were support for it.

The OHA administrator oversees more than 200 employees, contractors and consultants, and is responsible for a $15 million operation budget.

Trustees are also seeking someone who can lead the agency through unprecedented demands brought by the landmark Rice vs. Cayetano case, and its subsequent lawsuits, which opened OHA elections to all voters and candidates.

Clyde Namu'o, state Judiciary deputy administrator, confirmed he has a final interview with the board. He said his 31 years of experience at the state Judiciary -- 20 of them as an administrator -- can provide the stability the agency needs.

"I think OHA needs somebody with extensive administrative experience in government because it's still a government agency," said Namu'o, who added it would be a difficult decision to leave the Judiciary if he were offered the post.

Jan Dill, a local businessman who owns Strategic Solutions, an environmental solutions company, confirmed he is a finalist. Dill said his experience in facilities and program infrastructure, as well as in developing strategic goals, is an asset that can help OHA integrate with the Hawaiian community.

"To me, there's an opportunity to do things that I'm very interested in, which is helping the Hawaiian community develop and reach the potential that I think it has in terms of socioeconomic, health and education issues," said Dill, a 1961 graduate of the Kamehameha School for Boys who is an officer at Na Pua A Ke Ali'i Pauahi.

There's also interest to lead OHA among its current management.

OHA Deputy Administrator Colin Kippen's experience outside of the agency includes chief tribal judge for the Suquamish Tribe Indians in Washington State and as a trial attorney in Seattle.

Kippen said he's relished his work at OHA over the last four years and believes with OHA's potential there's much more that can be done.

"I'm interested because I care about the future of the Hawaiian people, and I think that in these times there is so much that we can do to help build unity in the community -- not just in the Hawaiian community but in the community at large," Kippen said.

The other people believed to be finalists but whose candidacy could not be confirmed are:

>> Winona Rubin, a retired state Human Services director who is now an aide for OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona.

>> Robert Ozaki, a former executive vice president at the Queen's Health Systems and at Amfac Inc., whose experience includes investments and operations for three of Queen's for-profit operations.

>> Patricia Brandt, who served as special assistant on Hawaiian affairs under Gov. John Waihee. Brandt has a non-profit background and served with the Hawaiian Community Loan Fund until last December.

There is no deadline for the board to pick a new administrator, and trustees may decide to postpone the selection if a consensus can't be reached.

Past administrators include Linda Colburn and Dante Carpenter.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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