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Friday, May 12, 2017
Caldwell appointments Ember Shinn to HART Board of Directors
By News Release @ 11:31 PM :: 2025 Views :: Rail

Mayor Caldwell appointments Ember Shinn to HART Board of Directors

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, May 12, 2017

Honolulu – Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced his appointment of former city Managing Director Ember Shinn to serve on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board of Directors.

“During the time that Ember served as managing director, she oversaw the city’s capital budget and program – billions of dollars of construction projects – and developed a reputation for diligently reviewing contracts and change orders and making hard decisions on cost cutting,” said Mayor Caldwell. “I know that she will bring the same critical approach to her review of rail construction operations. When you add this to her previous legal experience and work at the state Legislature, I am confident that she will help HART control costs and increase accountability and transparency while completing the guideway all the way to Ala Moana.”

Shinn replaces former Board of Director William “Buzz” Hong, who was recently appointed by Mayor Caldwell to serve on the Honolulu Fire Commission. Shinn will attend her first board HART meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2017, and will serve Hong’s remaining term until June 30, 2019.

“I look forward to working with my fellow board members and the HART administration to complete the construction of rail to Ala Moana,” Shinn said in accepting the appointment. “At this critical juncture of the rail project, it is necessary for the HART board to have a clear picture of the end game, a reasonable plan to successfully achieve its goals, and a firm hand to steer the HART administration toward those goals. I hope that my service on the HART board will bring ‘fresh eyes’ toward solving the many challenges facing the rail project and demonstrate proactive leadership by the board that restores public confidence in the project.”

Shinn served as Honolulu’s managing director from January 2013 to December 2014 and was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the city, supervising department directors, and implementing the mayor’s priorities and policies. Shinn remained as executive assistant to the mayor for a few months in early 2015 to complete special projects, including submission of the city budget. Prior to this, Shinn worked as a private consultant and held various positions with the Hawai‘i House of Representatives, including serving as Chief of Staff to the Hawai‘i Speaker of the House. Before Shinn returned home to Hawai‘i, she was an attorney in private practice with a large California law firm, representing and advising public governmental entities and private businesses.

Mayor Caldwell’s letter to the City Council concerning Shinn’s appointment is attached here.



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