David Y. Ige | Governor’s Office Press Release: Governor Ige Appoints Aimee Keli’i Barnes for State Land Council



Governor’s Office Press Release: Governor Ige Appoints Aimee Keli’i Barnes for State Land Council

Posted on January 5, 2022 in Newsroom, Governor’s Office Press Releases

HONOLULU – Governor David Ige has appointed Kailua resident Aimee KeliÊ»i Barnes to replace Dr Samuel Gon III at the Land and Natural Resources Council (BLNR). Barnes’ appointment is subject to the approval of the Hawaii Senate, although she begins serving immediately.

Barnes is currently the Director of Hua Nani Partners, a small, women-owned consultancy that provides policy and strategic advice to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations focused on climate change. She is also the Director of the Policy Lab at Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit that supports equitable climate innovation founded in Hawai’i in 2009.

“Aimee’s expertise in climate change issues was a major factor in her appointment to BLNR,” Governor Ige said. “As Hawai’i faces significant challenges and opportunities to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our natural landscapes, it is extremely important to have someone with Aimee’s experience to help inform decisions. and policy development. “

Barnes is a nationally recognized expert on climate change. Previously, she was appointed by former California Governor Jerry Brown as a member of her leadership team, leading the implementation of her climate and environmental policy agenda. In that role, she was responsible for California’s carbon neutrality executive order, described as “the most ambitious climate goal in history” when it was launched. Like Hawai’i, California has a carbon neutral goal by 2045.

“Hawai’i is a beacon of climate and sustainability leadership for the world. BLNR has an important role to play in helping the state meet its ambitious climate goals, including through the conservation of the state’s natural and working lands, which are an important carbon sink, ”said Barnes.

Barnes also served as Assistant Secretary for Border and Intergovernmental Relations for the California Environmental Protection Agency.

His work on environmental issues spans nearly 20 years in the non-profit and private sector, and internationally. Barnes received her BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, where she received a Mellon-Mays Fellowship to study Hawaiian environmentalism and cultural identity. She received her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Aimee’s father grew up in the Nu’uanu Valley and attended Kamehameha schools. His family is from Kapa’a, Kaua’i. As a teenager, her maternal grandmother sailed to O’ahu on the Lurline and attended Roosevelt High School. Barnes noted, “My commitment to climate and sustainability issues is rooted in my love and respect for the natural world and my Hawaiian heritage. I am touched and honored by the responsibility to serve in BLNR and bring my perspective to building a strong and sustainable economy in Hawai’i.

Barnes appointed to the Land Board on June 30, 2025. She represents the 3e Land District, which is the city and county of Honolulu.

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Media contact:

Jodi leong

Deputy Director of Communications / Press Officer

Governor’s office

Office: 808-586-0043

[email protected]

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Officer

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]



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