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OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR – News Release – Governor Ige announces appointments for Budget and Finance, Accounting and General Services, and Labor and Industrial Relations

Posted on Jan 8, 2019 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases

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HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced today that he is appointing new directors at three state departments.

Budget and Finance (BUF)

Rod Becker has been appointed as director of the Department of Budget and Finance. He replaces Laurel Johnston who retired in December. Becker has served as the comptroller and head of the Department of Accounting and General Services since Nov. 2016. He was the deputy director of the Department of Budget and Finance under Gov. Ige beginning in Dec. 2014. Prior to his work in the Ige administration, he was budget chief for the Hawai‘i State Senate where he supported the Legislature’s development of the state budget. Becker is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he earned a B.A. in economics and political science. He was also designated a certified public finance officer by the Government Finance Officers Association.

“Rod has valuable knowledge of the operating and capital budgeting process. In addition, he has an in-depth understanding of the way state government works and will be able to help improve the operational effectiveness of state programs and services,” said Gov. Ige.

“Working with the employees of DAGS and supporting their considerable efforts to provide effective services for the state and its taxpayers has been a tremendous honor. I look forward to continuing to help advance Gov. Ige’s goal of efficient and transparent government and the good work that has taken place at the department of budget and finance,” said Becker.


Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)

Curt T. Otaguro has been appointed to serve as the state comptroller, a position that concurrently serves as head of the Department of Accounting and General Services. Otaguro was most recently the executive vice president and division manager of the digital banking division, First Hawaiian Bank, where he spent most of his career in various positions of increasing responsibility. He has experience in personal and e-banking, retail and electronic banking, management and customer service. Otaguro earned a Bachelor of Science in management from the University of Redlands.

“Curt brings a fresh pair of eyes to state government. His wealth of experience in all aspects of banking and management will be a significant asset as he manages and supervises a wide range of state programs and activities,” said Gov. Ige.

“I am extremely honored to have an opportunity to serve Governor Ige and our people in the State of Hawaiʻi. I look forward to applying my 37 years of work experience to support the governor’s initiatives and priorities within the Department of Accounting and General Services,” said Otaguro.


Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)

Scott T. Murakami has been appointed to lead the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Murakami joins the Ige administration from the University of Hawaiʻi where he has held a variety of leadership positions. Most recently, he has been the director of Workforce Development in the Office of the Vice President for Community Colleges. He serves on the State of Hawaiʻi Rehabilitation Council, the board of directors of the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaiʻi, and the Workforce Development Council. Murakami holds a B.A. in political science and sociology, and an M.B.A. and M.Acc. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

“I’m counting on Scott’s understanding of economic drivers and his experience in workforce development to help re-shape the way employees are prepared for success in an innovative, technology-based economy. In addition, he knows how important labor/management partnerships are in meeting this mission,” said Gov. Ige.

“I’m honored and humbled to serve the residents of the State of Hawaiʻi as their director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Our team will focus on diligently analyzing the increasing availability of labor market data to identify opportunities for growing Hawaiʻi’s labor force within each industry sector throughout our state. Building on our stateʻs history of working together, our team will continue to work in partnership with Hawaiʻi’s businesses, labor organizations, education/training providers and state/county leaders to do our very best at developing a workforce that has both the technical and employability skills essential to providing a competitive advantage to Hawaiʻi’s businesses in the global economy,” Murakami said.

All three appoints are subject to Senate confirmation.


Media Contacts:

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

[email protected]


Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

[email protected]