Abercrombie selects Pat McManaman for Department of Human Services director

HONOLULU—Gov. Neil Abercrombie selected Pat McManaman to be appointed as the director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) last week.

McManaman has been the deputy executive director for the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission since November 2008. Previously she was the CEO for Na Loio—Immigrant Rights and Public Interest Legal Center for 12 years. Practicing law in Hawaii since 1979, McManaman has held public interest legal positions with the Office of the Public Defender, Office of Consumer Protection, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. She has been a per diem judge in the District Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii for 17 years.

McManaman’s appointment will have to be confirmed by the State Senate.

“Given the weak economy of the past few years, government and charitable resources are at their lowest just at the time when the need for human services is highest,” Abercrombie said. “Furthermore, DHS resources have been depleted, plans for the department have been unclear, and morale among its public employees is understandably low.”

Abercrombie has announced 12 department directors and six deputy directors of his Cabinet. The governor is still interviewing applicants for the directors of the following departments: Health, Attorney General, Defense, and Transportation.

The selections come after a process that began with applicants submitting their resumes through the transition website, NewDayHawaii.org. The process, led by Transition Director Bill Kaneko, includes collecting input from the community and several rounds of interviews before Governor Abercrombie makes the final decision.

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