Gov. David Ige has appointed Craig Hirai to lead Hawaii’s Department of Budget and Finance, replacing Neal Miyahira who will return to his prior position as the department’s budget division administrator.
Hirai has served as executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation since 2013.
“Craig’s extensive experience and knowledge, along with his administrative skill set will serve our state well,” Ige said today in a press release. “I am elated that Craig has agreed to come onboard as a member of my cabinet.”
Hirai graduated with an M.S. in accounting and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a J.D. from Hastings College of Law at the University of California San Francisco. He also earned a Master of Laws in taxation, a post-graduate law degree from New York University.
Hirai is also the sole member of Craig K. Hirai, CPA, LLC and previously worked as a consultant at Bowen Hunsaker Hirai Consulting Inc. and Bowen Hunsaker Hirai, Certified Public Accountants. He also worked as a tax attorney in private practice.
Hirai’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Hirai will be the fourth person to serve this year as the director of the Department of Budget and Finance. Ige appointed Rod Becker to lead the department in January, but Becker stepped down after it was clear that he wasn’t going to gain approval in the Senate. Robert Yu, the department’s deputy director served as acting director until Ige announced Miyahira’s appointment in June.
Hirai will start his new job Dec. 16.