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Ige announces more new directors


Gov. David Ige has announced that Elizabeth Kim will serve as the Director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Cindy McMillan as Director of Communications.

Kim currently serves in President Obama’s Administration as the Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the US Department of Labor in Washington D.C. As Director, she serves as an integral member of the senior leadership team advising the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Labor. Prior to that she served as the White House Liaison for the Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Defense, and also served as Administrator of the Business and Professional Licensing Administration at the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

“Elizabeth brings executive management experience in federal, state, and local level policy formation,” Ige said. “She is a proven leader that has demonstrated success in managing a large staff as well as implementing major programs and initiatives at a high level. Elizabeth’s wealth of knowledge, national experience, and leadership equips her to lead the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.”

Kim earned a BA degree from Pomona College and also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. A graduate of Kaiser High School, Kim was also President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater Washington, DC, and Chair of the D.C. Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Cindy McMillan has most recently led advocacy and communication efforts for Pacific Resource Partnership. Prior to this, she was the executive vice president at Communications Pacific, where she led the firm’s community relations and public affairs team, which assisted a wide range of clients. McMillan’s previous experience also includes serving as a legislative aide to members of the Honolulu City Council, where she helped develop legislative strategies and worked closely with city and state agencies, neighborhood boards, the Legislature, the media and constituents.

“Cindy brings superior organizational skills along with a wealth of experience in strategic communication planning and implementation,” Ige said. “Her experience in the public and private sector along with her demonstrated commitment to our community make her a valuable asset to our team.”

McMillan moved to Hawaii in 1996 from Washington, D.C., where she was assistant director of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS). She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Columbia Union College.

“I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with Gov. Ige to ensure that his priorities are communicated accurately and the public is informed about the administration’s decisions,” McMillan said.

Gov. David Ige has announced the appointment of Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Pressler, MD, MBA, FACS as director of the Department of Health (DOH). Dr. Pressler’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

“Ginny has more than 35 years of experience in the medical field and has held administrative positions for more than two decades,” Ige said. “A well-respected member of Hawaii’s medical and business communities, Ginny’s wealth of knowledge and experience equips her to lead the Department of Health.”

The appointment marks a return to the DOH for Pressler. From 1999-2002, Pressler served as deputy director for Health Resources Administration. During that time she was instrumental in obtaining sixty percent of the $1.3 billion tobacco settlement fund for public health purposes and initiated the Tobacco Trust Fund, Healthy Hawaii Initiative, Hawaii Outcomes Institute and Hawaii Uninsured Project.

Pressler earned a BA degree from Cornell University; and she also earned an MBA, MS in physiology, and MD degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is currently the executive vice president and chief strategic officer at Hawaii Pacific Health, the largest healthcare provider in Hawaii.

Over her career, Pressler has earned numerous local and national awards including the Pacific Business News’ Business Leadership Hawaii Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award, and the American Cancer Society’s St. George National Award. She was also named Hawaii Medical Association’s Health Care Administrator of the Year in 2008 and the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion in 2007.

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