Governor Ige appoints long-time cabinet member as chief of staff - Chief of operations position also
– Gov. David Ige has appointed Linda Chu Takayama as his chief of staff, effective Aug. 1.
Takayama has served in the Ige administration since 2015 – first as the head of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and currently as director of the Department of Taxation for the State of Hawai‘i. At DOTAX, Chu Takayama has been responsible for the collection of more than $7 billion in revenue and has overseen the modernization of the tax department.
Prior to joining the Ige administration, Chu Takayama was the director of the Office of Economic Development for the City and County of Honolulu, where her focus was community revitalization, agriculture and international affairs.
Chu Takayama is an attorney with practice areas in county, state and federal regulatory and governmental affairs, as well as health, insurance, land development and corporate business law.
In addition, Chu Takayama has served as deputy director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and was also the Hawai‘i Insurance Commissioner.
Prior to that, Chu Takayama worked in Washington, D.C. as the chief of staff to the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms and as director of the State Legislative Affairs and Agricultural Issues for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inc.
She also served for 25 years as chair of the Hawai‘i Foodbank and is a director on the board of the Hawai‘i Health Information Corporation.
Chu Takayama was born and raised in Honolulu where she earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia.
“I am truly honored by this appointment and will be working hard to justify the governor’s confidence in me. Although the state faces tough challenges, I believe, as LBJ did, ‘There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves,’” Chu Takayama said.
Gov. Ige also appointed Keith Yamamoto as chief operating officer. He previously served as first deputy director of the state Department of Health where he was responsible for overseeing the general administration of the department.
In addition, Yamamoto served as the chief of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division at the Department of Health; program development administrator for the Office of Youth Services at the Department of Human Services; and has managed various school-based vocational education and career development programs for at-risk youth while with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Yamamoto earned a B.S. in Rehabilitation Services from the University of Colorado and his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.