Governor Ige announces retirements at Health, Public Safety Departments

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige announced today that Dr. Bruce Anderson and Director Nolan Espinda will be retiring in September. 

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“Both directors have served admirably under extremely challenging conditions, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank them for their many years of service to the people of Hawaiʻi and wish them well as they retire and are able to spend time with their families,” said Gov. Ige. 

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as Director under Gov. Ige, with Nolan and my other fellow cabinet members. In my retirement, I look forward to doing a lot more fishing and horseback riding with my wife, Debbie,” said Anderson.

Gov. Ige has appointed Dr. Libby Char to serve as interim director of the Dept. of Health effective Sept. 16. Dr. Anderson’s retirement is effective Sept. 15 after 35 years of experience managing health and environmental programs in Hawaiʻi, including serving as the as director of the department under two governors. 

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“I am honored to fill the position of Director of Health for the State of Hawaiʻi. We are in a difficult position, with a heavy burden of COVID-19 affecting the health, well-being and livelihood of so many of us. We must move forward together, through collaborative efforts, caring for each other with a shared sense of purpose. In doing so, we will regain the health of our communities and our state,” said Char. 

Dir. Espinda’s retirement is effective Oct. 1. Gov. Ige announced that Maria Cook, the deputy director for administration will be temporarily assigned and has been granted signatory authority while Espinda is on personal leave through September. The deputy directors for law enforcement and corrections will continue in their capacities to oversee their division operations. Dir. Espinda will be available to provide advice remotely in the interim should the need arise.

Gov. Ige will announce an interim appointment to lead the department in the coming weeks. 

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