LIHUE – Former Council Vice Chair Nadine Nakamura was sworn-in this morning as the county’s new managing director. She replaces Gary Heu, who retired from the county yesterday after 11 years in the position.
“I am very happy to have Nadine on board. With her knowledge of county government and experience in the private sector along with a highly diverse skill set, I think that she’s the perfect person to help us move forward at this time,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.
At the end of her first day on the job, Nakamura said, “I’m very excited about the opportunity to carry out the Mayor’s priorities to improve county government and the quality of life for all on Kauai.”
Nakamura served on the County Council for nearly three years and was in the middle of her second term when she resigned to become the managing director.
Prior to elected office, Nakamura owned her own consulting firm, NKN Project Planning, offering services such as strategic and community planning, organizational development and collaboration building. One of the projects she worked on was the Kauai General Plan Update 2000. She also wrote the first Kauai Community Drug Response Plan in 2004.
Upon obtaining her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, Nakamura worked as a land use and transportation planner for the City and County of Honolulu, and as a project coordinator for affordable housing developments statewide.
Over the years, she has been a member of several boards including: Hawaii Tourism Authority; State Housing Development Corporation of Hawaii; and the Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides low interest loans for affordable rental housing throughout the state.
Nakamura holds a bachelors of science degree in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California and a masters degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
She is married to Galen Nakamura. They have two children, Casey, 17, and Reis, 13.