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AG News Release: Hawai‘i Attorney General Shikada Welcomes New First Deputy

Posted on Dec 13, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i Attorney General Holly T. Shikada announced today that Valerie M. Kato has been selected as the new First Deputy Attorney General.  Prior to her recent appointment by Governor Ige as the Attorney General, AG Shikada was the First Deputy Attorney General.

Kato has over 20 years of experience practicing law in the State of Hawai‘i starting her legal career clerking for Judge Corinne K.A. Watanabe at the Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the Department of the Attorney General, Kato was with the law firm of Ning Lilly & Jones, focusing on commercial litigation, commercial and residential landlord/tenant issues, employment and labor disputes, and trust and probate litigation. Over the years, she has served as a CAAP arbitrator in the Hawai‘i State Judiciary Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and was recently an Attorney Delegate to the United States District Court Judicial Conference. Initially representing the Department of Agriculture and the Agribusiness Development Corporation in the Commerce and Economic Development Division of the Department, Kato most recently served as the acting supervisor in the Health Division, advising the Department of Health on legal issues, including issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In her prior role as Supervising Deputy of the Health Division, Val’s experience, character, wisdom, and dedication assisted in guiding the State thru the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Shikada. “It is because of the leadership she displayed in that role and her commitment to the people of the State of Hawai‘i that I know she will be a great addition to the executive team and am pleased to announce her appointment as the First Deputy Attorney General.”

Kato commences her role on December 13, 2021. She earned her B.A. with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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For more information, contact:

Gary H. Yamashiroya

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

Email:  [email protected]


Twitter: @ATGHIgov