Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency Staff
Joshua w. Stanbro
executive director and chief resilience officer
Josh Stanbro brings a wealth of sustainability experience and a track record of developing partnerships to his role within the administration. He has served as a Program Director for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation since 2009, where he led the Hawai‘i Fresh Water Initiative and the Community Restoration Partnership. He previously served as Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land-Hawai‘i, where he completed the acquisition of over 25,000 acres of land for preservation in perpetuity. He has worked in various roles with Envision Hawai‘i, the Coastal/Estuarine Land Conservation Planning Advisory Group, the South Kona-Ka‘u Coastal Conservation Task Force, and the Hawai’i Forest Stewardship Committee. Josh earned a BA from Claremont McKenna College and his Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. He spent a visiting semester at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he earned a Cali Award in Native Hawaiian Rights.
deputy director and deputy chief resilience officer
Justin Gruenstein was appointed Deputy Director on July 1, 2017. In this capacity, he also serves as the city’s Deputy Chief Resilience Officer. Previously, he was the Executive Assistant to Mayor Kirk Caldwell responsible for policy matters relating to the environment, sustainability, and emergency management. He also served as the emergency coordinator for the Office of the Mayor and Managing Director, acting as the Mayor’s liaison to various emergency management agencies. Before joining the City and County of Honolulu, Justin spent five years in government relations with the County of Maui Mayor’s Office and an international civil engineering firm. Early in his career, he was a legislative assistant and policy analyst at the Washington State Legislature, where he served on the staff of both the chair of the Senate Environment, Energy & Water Committee and House Speaker Pro Tem. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he is an alumnus of the University of Washington in Seattle.
Matthew j. Gonser, AICP, CFM
coastal and water program manager
Matthew Gonser joined the City and County of Honolulu's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency in October 2017. His position focuses generally on coastal and water issues. Matthew previously served as an extension agent with the Univeristy of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program, where efforts were focused on community planning and design, natural hazards and climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and stormwater management. He holds one of two Directors-at-Large positions with the Hawai‘i Chapter of the American Planning Association, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM). Matthew has also served as the Vice Chair of the McCully-Mo‘ili‘ili Neighborhood Board and is currently the Treasurer. He also serves as an advisory council member for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program. Matthew earned a BS in Natural Resources Ecology and Management from Cornell University, and holds a masters in both Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture, respectively, also from Cornell.
office manager and outreach specialist
Uyen Vong joined the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency in August 2017. Previously, she served as the community relations specialist at the Neighborhood Commission Office, overseeing over 400 volunteer board members. Prior to joining the City and County of Honolulu in 2014, Uyen worked at the Hawaii State Legislature as a legislative aide and committee clerk.
Layla is a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying urban and regional planning, with an emphasis on disaster management and humanitarian assistance (DMHA).