Gov.-elect Josh Green’s nominee to serve as attorney general is a health care executive who once worked as a special assistant to the attorney general.
Anne E. Lopez, a 2001 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, currently works as chief operating officer and general counsel for the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., where she has been since 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile. HHSC was set up by the state Legislature in 1996 as a public-benefit corporation and provides “essential safety-net hospital and long term care services” throughout Hawaii, according to the corporation.
Lopez was a special assistant to former Attorney General David M. Louie from January 2013 until June 2015. Before that she was in private practice from September 2004 through December 2012 at the Honolulu firm of Chun Kerr Dodd Beaman &Wong.
In an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Lopez said working for Louie and the Attorney General’s Office helped her develop a “passion” for the work the office does and the service it provides the state. She said she is “genuinely excited” about the opportunity to work with the deputies and department staff again.
She sees her professional experiences as being critical to helping the Attorney General’s Office work on two major issues: access to health care and affordable housing. Understanding how the law works with business and the realities of how to expand access to housing and health care is critical to the plans Green’s administration intends to develop.
“I’m excited that the Attorney General’s Office will be able to have a role in figuring out what that plan is,” said Lopez, who moved to Hawaii 29 years ago from Clayton, Calif. “I want to serve (the office) and ensure it enforces the laws of the state, is transparent in all of its work, and the residents of Hawaii benefit from our commitment and our commitment to public service.”
Green told the Star- Advertiser that he first met Lopez when he was serving in the Hawaii Senate and was impressed by her work at the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
“I consider her an effective manager who is well prepared to take on the legal challenges facing the state,” said Green in a statement. “Anne is compassionate and kind, and has the right values and experience for the job.”
Lopez worked directly for Louie during her previous stint in the Attorney General’s Office. Louie told the Star-Advertiser that he was impressed with Lopez’s work at HHSC during the corporation’s 2016 sale of its Maui region to Kaiser Permanente.
He said she was key to navigating the legal and business procedures necessary to complete the sale and got people to buy in.
Louie described Lopez as “very thoughtful,” with a good command of the law. “She thinks about things, and she has a good understanding of government.” said Louie.
Attorney General Holly T. Shikada told the Star- Advertiser she is pleased by Lopez’s nomination and said Lopez is “familiar with and knowledgeable about the department’s mission and priorities.”
“Moreover, because of her experience working in state government, she understands the significance of the attorney general’s responsibility to all of our various clients and the people of Hawaii. I congratulate Anne and wish her much success,” said Shikada. “As for me, after over 30 years with the department, I look forward to spending more time with my family, and as I consider what my next challenge will entail, I will greatly miss the hardworking people in the department who strive every day to make Hawaii a better place.”
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