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Hawaii Department of Education Appoints New IT Leader

Michael Otsuji, who has worked for various state departments in the past 40 years, will lead the Office of Information Technology Services starting next month. Former interim IT leader Christine Shaw will be his executive assistant.

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The Hawaii State Department of Education last week appointed a new leader for its Office of Information Technology Services.

In a unanimous vote by the state Board of Education, Michael Otsuji was named to the assistant superintendent position, in which he will oversee that agency’s statewide information and telecommunications systems and services for schools and district offices starting on June 5, according to a news release.

Michael Otsuji.jpeg
Michael Otsuji.
Derek Wong Photography

"Mr. Otsuji is a principled person. He possesses the values and characteristics that we admire in leaders — someone who can be honest about where we are and the steps we need to take to move the department and public education forward,” Hawaii Superintendent of Education Keith Hayashi said in a public statement. “He will be an invaluable member of our senior leadership team as we continue our journey to modernize our systems to be highly effective and efficient.”

Otsuji has served as a Hawaii public servant for more than 40 years, with management experience with the state departments of Health, Taxation, Enterprise Services, and Labor and Industrial Relations. His resume included various modernization projects with those agencies before his most recent appointment, according to the news release. Among Otsuji’s most notable achievements was the conversion of all state executive branch departments to a unified platform. He also led efforts in the creation of an online processing system for tax payments.

Otsuji replaces Christine Shaw, who had served in the role on an acting and interim basis since August 2021. At Shaw’s request, she will return to her previous role in that department as the executive assistant to the assistant superintendent.