A new director and deputy director are now at the helm of the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Community Services.
Sarah Allen, the state’s former chief procurement officer, is the new director, and Joy Barua, formerly a senior director with Kaiser Permanente, is the new deputy director.
Allen brings with her a strong leadership background and experience in federal and state government contracts, auditing, and cost analysis, and change management. She has also previously served in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Intelligence, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
Barua joins the city after leaving his post as the senior director of government & community relations, and community benefit at Kaiser Permanente, where he led regional government affairs and managed a portfolio of $77 million in community benefit investments.
The department administers programs for economically challenged individuals, families and communities, including rental assistance, emergency shelters for the homeless, senior services, workforce training, and neighborhood revitalization programs.
“Our Transition Team conducted extensive interviews to select our Director of Community Services,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi in a news release. “When we first met Sarah Allen, we all knew our efforts had been rewarded. Sarah’s leadership and professional experience is perfect for this challenge and her warm positive attitude is exactly what we needed for this vital area of our City operations.”
Barua also previously served as the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief marketing officer at the Honolulu Community Action Program Inc., as well as project director/business manager of Pacific Gateway Center.
“Joy Barua’s decision to join our team was almost too good to be true,” said Blangiardi. “I am most pleased at the potential of having Sarah and Joy working together.”