City Resilience Team
Office of Housing
Mr. Alexander was born in Sagami, Japan, and raised in Hawaii. Appointed by Mayor Caldwell in 2017, he is the Executive Director of the Office of Housing for the City and County of Honolulu. Prior to this appointment, he served at the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Institute for Human Services, the first Hawaii State Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, and in administrative and pastoral positions in the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii.
He holds a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, and has published and spoken in the fields of public policy, bioethics, and theology.
Edwin P. Hawkins, Jr.
Office of Economic Development
Mr. Hawkins is Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development (OED) on the staff of the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. OED is responsible for partnering with Oahu’s businesses, non-profit groups, and communities to support economic growth and enhance the quality of life for Oahu’s residents. OED also manages and promotes International and Sister City relations for the City. The Mayor’s Agricultural Liaison and the Honolulu Film Office are attached to OED. A retired Air Force Officer, Mr. Hawkins is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Harvard University (M.A., East Asian Studies), and Japan National Institute for Defense Studies; he speaks Japanese.
Department of Environmental Services
Mr. Houghton was appointed Deputy Director, Department of Environmental Services, March 18, 2013. He previously served as Executive Assistant in the Department of Environmental Services, City and County of Honolulu since its creation on July 1, 1998, and previously served in that role in the former Department of Wastewater Management beginning in 1993. Mr. Houghton also served as Deputy Director of the Department from July 2003 to December 2004.
The Department of Environmental Services provides wastewater and solid waste services for the City and County of Honolulu which comprises the entire island of Oahu with a population of over 900,000 or 72% of the State of Hawaii population. The Department’s wastewater system is the direct service provider for over 740,000 people through 9 treatment plants, 68 pump stations and over 2,100 miles of pipe treating approximately 105 MGD. The Department’s capital program for the next five years exceeds $1.5 billion and annual operating budgets exceed $300 million.
Mr. Houghton is the lead for Honolulu wastewater financing, including revenue bond sales and sewer service charges.
Mr. Houghton was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) serving from September 2008 through June 2017. NACWA provides one voice for clean water and its prominence as a nationally-recognized leader in environmental policy, and close working relationship with Congress and EPA, allow it to help shape the course of environmental protection into the next century. Mr. Houghton has led the organizations Clean Water Funding workgroup; been Vice-Chair of the Clean Water Funding Task Force; and, has been Vice-Chair of the Utility Management Committee.
Mr. Houghton has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University and a Master of Science in Systems Management degree from the University of Southern California.
Department of Enterprise Services
In April 2015, Mr. Kaulukukui was appointed Director of the Department of Enterprise Services by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. In this capacity, he leads the operation of the City’s revenue generating activities including Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell, Honolulu Zoo, municipal golf courses and all of the city concessions. He has been vice president for cultural studies at Bishop Museum, senior advisor and chief of staff to a Honolulu councilman, associate director at The Kohala Center, deputy director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources during the Abercrombie administration and senior vice president of Bio-Logical Capital, LLC. He has over 20 years of leadership experience in Hawai’i.
Mr. Kaulukukui, has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Hawaii, an MBA from Hawaii Pacific University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.
Robert J. Kroning, P.E.
Department of Design &Construction
Mr. Kroning began working as the Director of the Department of Design and Construction at the City and County of Honolulu in September 2014. The Department is responsible for managing a majority of the City’s Capital Improvements Program as well as all necessary land acquisitions.
Prior to starting at the City, Mr. Kroning served 24 years as an Engineer Officer in the United States Army. Assignments included: Platoon Leader in Germany; Company Commander for a Construction Company in Panamá and for a Power Generation and Distribution Company in Ft. Bragg, NC; Deputy Commander for the Corps of Engineers Honolulu District; and Deputy Director for the Engineering Programs Office in Afghanistan. He also served in various staff assignments in Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Iraq, and with NATO in Italy and Spain.
Born and raised in New Jersey; Mr. Kroning has lived in Hawaii since 2005. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1990 and earned a Masters in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in 2002. Mr. Kroning is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Hawaii.
Donna Y.L. Leong
Department of Corporation Counsel
Ms. Leong is the Corporation Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu, where she has served since 2013. The Corporation Counsel is the chief legal adviser and legal representative of all City agencies, officers and employees, including the Mayor and the City Council.
Prior to joining the city, Ms. Leong was the Sr. Vice President and Chief Legal Officer (CLO) for Outrigger Enterprises Group, which was a Honolulu-based hospitality company with hotels and resorts in Hawaii and throughout Southeast Asia. As CLO, Ms. Leong managed legal services for the company, including matters related to real estate transactions and development, land use entitlements, acquisitions, hotel and property management, condominium property regimes and vacation ownership (time shares).
Before joining Outrigger, Ms. Leong was with the law firm, Cades Schutte LLLP, where she served as chair of the Land Use, Zoning and Entitlements Group and co-chair of the Hospitality and Resort Property Group.
Department of Parks & Recreation
As a career-long, award-winning Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) administrator and athlete, Ms. Nekota has always kept the outdoors and recreational activities as an integral part of her life. Her career and personal accomplishments have brought her full circle, from growing up as the daughter of a respected DPR Director in Honolulu to excelling as a student and professional athlete and a 29-year tenure as a DPR administrator in Salt Lake County, Utah. Currently she occupies the position as Director of Honolulu DPR, which she has occupied since April 2014. With 10 years of experience as a DPR Director in both locations, she has overseen nearly 5,000 employees, hundreds of millions of dollars in operating and Capital Improvement budgets, and helped to organize and facilitate the creation and renovation of park facilities in Hawaiʻi and Utah.
Jon Y. Nouchi
DEPARTMENT OF Transportation Services
Mr. Nouchi currently serves as the Deputy Director of the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services. He previously was the Deputy Director of Planning at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Director of Planning and Service Development for Oahu Transit Services, Inc.
A graduate of ‘Iolani School and the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy, Mr. Nouchi holds a degree in Urban and Regional Planning with focused studies in Transportation and Land Use. He also has a certificate in Hawaiian Language from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. His current role at the City is focused on implementing sustainable transportation infrastructure through innovative technologies while improving mobility island-wide for O‘ahu residents. Mr. Nouchi is also an advocate for livable cities and better utilization of town and country spaces.
Community Building & T.O.D. Administrator
Mr. Rue leads implementation of transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies around Honolulu’s 20 mile rail line, including neighborhood TOD plans, codes and ordinances, financial tools, infrastructure investments, catalytic projects, connectivity and placemaking, and affordable housing. A former builder, he has hands-on experience in most construction trades, green building, construction management, and housing policy. He has decades of experience in smart growth and sustainability, transportation and transit, TOD, scenario and corridor planning, climate mitigation and adaptation, and public participation.
Mr. Rue has developed integrated plans, programs, policies, training, and implementation strategies at the rural, urban, regional, state, and federal level. As founder of the Citizen Planner Institute, he created inclusive planning processes and training materials on sustainability and smart growth, and led hundreds of workshops for communities and agencies across the US. As a principal at ICF, Mr. Rue led development of several guidebooks for FHWA’s livability initiative; developed tools, training, and technical assistance for EPA’s smart growth program and the HUD sustainable communities program; developed climate strategies for US DOT and EPA, and helped develop health and transportation web tools for US DOT, HUD, and CDC. Mr. Rue led post-disaster long-term recovery planning efforts in South Florida, Houston, and Iowa.
Ross S. Sasamura
Director & Chief Engineer
Department of Facility Maintenance
Mr. Sasamura is presently the Director and Chief Engineer of the City and County of Honolulu Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM). He is responsible for the repair and maintenance of City owned or operated: facilities such as Honolulu Hale, Kapolei Hale, the Fasi Municipal Building, fire stations, police stations, Satellite City Halls, radio transmitter sites; streets and sidewalks; street lights and outdoor parks lighting; storm drain and drainage infrastructure; and vehicles and equipment (except those operated by the Board of Water Supply, Honolulu Police Department, and Honolulu Fire Department). Mr. Sasamura previously worked for the City and County of Honolulu from 1991 to 2002 and was initially the Assistant Chief of the Automotive Equipment Service Division until he was appointed as Director and Chief Engineer of the DFM in 1999. He returned to the DFM as Director and Chief Engineer in January 2013. Mr. Sasamura is a Mechanical Engineer by training and earned his degree from the General Motors Institute in Flint Michigan. He is a licensed engineer and specializes in Automotive Engineering. Mr. Sasamura worked for the General Motors Corporation and the Peterbilt Motors Company where he held positions in product engineering, and manufacturing before returning home to Hawaii in 1988.
Department of Planning & Permitting
Ms. Sokugawa has been the Acting Director of the Department of Planning & Permitting (DPP) since the beginning of 2017. Since then, she has been faced with fifty percent vacancies in some sections of the department, sliding mountains, mountain access trail issues, a continuing divided community on short-term rentals, and a charitable farm that has managed to rack up over $700,000 in fines. DPP has also managed to take “first place” in number of testimonies filed at the legislature this year by any City agency. She says she is having a great time.
In her real job, as the Planning Division Chief for DPP, Ms. Sokugawa has over thirty years of experience in City planning, with emphasis on zoning, community planning, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development (TOD). She has been a Chief Planner (of various divisions with the Department of Land Utilization and DPP) for 20 years, overseeing zoning regulations and permitting, long-range planning, and projecting long-range growth patterns for the City and County of Honolulu. Current major projects of the division include the General Plan update, the update of the remaining two of eight regional development plans, completion of the last three of eight TOD plans, and finalizing Important Ag Land maps.
Two of her sterling career accomplishments: APA Chapter Treasurer without losing a dollar, and APA Newsletter Editor using a Wang.
Department of Emergency Management
Mr. Toiya is the Deputy Director of the Department of Emergency Management at the City and County of Honolulu. Mr. Toiya is responsible for assisting the Director in the management of the department’s day-to-day and emergency operations. Mr. Toiya works with staff to coordinate efforts with other City departments as well as State, Federal, and non-governmental partners on all aspects of emergency management for the City. Mr. Toiya has experience with numerous activations of the City’s emergency operations center to include tsunamis, tropical cyclones, structural and wild fires, and high profile planned events.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Toiya was the training and exercise officer for the department. His responsibilities included planning, conducting and evaluating emergency management and response related trainings and exercises. Mr. Toiya has also worked in public health emergency management as the Senior Planner at the Hawaii State Department of Health. He was responsible for working with the state and local emergency managers and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Strategic National Stockpile program.
Mr. Toiya received a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina. During his time there, Mr. Toiya was engaged in recovery activities including community needs assessment, coordinating community health fairs, and managing a food pantry in an underserved neighborhood. Mr. Toiya is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering and has experience as an emergency medical technician in Atlanta’s 911 system.
Water Resources Division
Board of Water Supply
Mr. Usagawa is the Program Administrator for the Water Resources Division of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. He administers the Water Systems Planning, Water Conservation, Recycled Water, Long Range Planning, Hydrology-Geology and Project Review functions of the department. Water Resources conducts long-range water resource and capital planning for Oahu to ensure sustainable water resources and dependable water systems for current and future customers.
Mr. Usagawa has worked for over 32 years at Honolulu Board of Water Supply in water systems analysis, environmental, capital planning, water resource management, conservation, reuse, water rights and land use planning. He is a licensed professional engineer in Hawaii and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Water Resources monitors rainfall, groundwater aquifers and streams, protecting the long-term viability of Oahu's water resources. Water Resources plans for the diversification of the Department's water supplies - conservation, potable groundwater, and recycled water to meet a growing population while protecting the natural environment.
Mr. Usagawa is the project manager of the Oahu Watershed Management Planning effort utilizing the ahupua`a concept of watershed-based resource management. He also provided testimony on capital and water resource planning programs of BWS, in the Waiahole Ditch contested case hearings in 1995-96.