Rachael Wong is leaving her post as director of the state Department of Human Services at the end of the month.

She will be replaced by Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot beginning Sept. 1.

Bridget Holthus will replace Bhanot.

Bhanot’s appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Pankaj Bhanot.
Pankaj Bhanot. Ige Administration

“I asked Rachael to be a change agent for collaboration, transparency, and action, and she has done just that,” Ige said in a press release Thursday. “Rachael was the right person to lead DHS, and there will be no disruption to the momentum built as the department focuses on implementation of the programs she envisioned. I appreciate her public service.”

Bhanot is an attorney “who has dedicated his professional life to human rights and human services,” says the governor’s office.

Holthus served as research program liaison at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

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