Doug Simons is taking over the Institute for Astronomy at a critical time for the agency and for astronomy in the state.
More telescopes are expected to be decommissioned according to a plan that seeks to do a better job of managing the mauna.
The ability of counties to render aid to each other is also at issue in the case that stems from protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope in 2019.
Protest leaders, UH officials and astronomers will all have seats on the panel.
The 15-member working group has until December to come up with a new management structure for Mauna Kea.
But proponents hope the group could still be Hawaii’s best chance at building consensus over the future of a mountain considered sacred by many.
Details on a new governance committee proposed by the Hawaii House speaker that would investigate a new management structure have yet to be seen.
Voters also chose County Council members and decided the fate of numerous charter amendments.