State Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami will leave his job for the new post of administrative director for Gov. David Ige beginning Nov. 1, the governor’s office announced Thursday.
Jade Butay, currently deputy transportation direction in charge of administration, has been name Fuchigami’s permanent replacement. He will have the interim director title pending Senate confirmation during next year’s Legislature.
The administrative director’s post is a new one in the Ige administration but will be similar to that of deputy chief of staff, an Ige spokeswoman said. The administration as been without a deputy chief of staff since Laurel Johnston left to be deputy director of budget and finance in December.
In his new job, Fuchigami will coordinate essential business and discussions between the state and various industries, serve as the lead liaison between the governor’s office and various state agencies, and administer management improvement programs, according to a press release from Ige’s office.
As head of DOT, Butay will be in charge of 15 airports, 10 commercial harbors, 2,500 highway lane miles and 2,600 employees.
“Ford has been able to successfully manage a wide range of situations — whether it’s negotiating with billion dollar companies or listening to the concerns of our citizens,” Ige said, in the release. “His ability to negotiate the successful Kapalama Container Terminal project and accommodate an additional major player into Hawaii’s shipping industry is just one recent example of his impressive leadership skills.”
Butay has been a deputy director since January 2015. Prior to that, he was deputy director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in 2013-14. He served an earlier stint as deputy transportation direction for administration in 2011-13.