Suzanne Case served two terms as director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The University of Hawaii has appointed the former chair of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources as inaugural director of the Office of Land and Ocean Conservation Futures.

The office is housed under the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Suzanne Case began her new position Monday.

According to a press release, she will be responsible for identifying, developing and coordinating initiatives in research, education, funding, policies and other opportunities “by leveraging all facets of the UH research enterprise to improve nature conservation efforts internally and across the state.”

Conservation and sustainability efforts are a “critical component” of UH’s strategic plan as well as the future of the islands and the world, says UH.

Case said in a statement, “The university’s education, research and capacity-building conservation work is very broad and deep. The faculty, students and workers are true leaders in so many conservation fields, and I’m proud to be a part of it and to do what I can to support and expand it. We have so much to do for Hawaii, the Pacific and our planet.”

Case previously worked for The Nature Conservancy and has also served as chair for the State Commission on Water Resource Management.

She is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Stanford University and a juris doctorate from the University of California Hastings College of Law

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