Gov. David Ige has hired Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami as his administrative director.

In the new role, Fuchigami will be “the lead liaison between the governor’s office, state departments and their directors,” according to a press release.

He’ll also work with Chief of Staff Mike McCartney and oversee management practices and relations between the state and industries.

Hawaii Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami testifying before the Legislature in January. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

While this is technically a new position, Ige spokeswoman Jodi Leong said the job description is similar to deputy chief of staff, which has been vacant since Laurel Johnston joined the Department of Budget and Finance in December.

Jade Butay 

Fuchigami’s first day on the job will be Nov. 1. Prior to joining the DOT in 2011, he was an executive in the hospitality industry.

“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 press release. “He will bring to the governor’s office his strengths and keen ability to enhance efficiencies throughout our state.”

Ige has tapped Jade Butay to serve as interim DOT director. Butay has been with the department since 2015 and currently serves as deputy director of administration. He was also deputy director at the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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