About the Director
James Kunane Tokioka
James Kunane Tokioka was named Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) on May 5, 2023. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for the Department of Transportation’s Airports Division.
Tokioka began his political career as a member of the Kauai County Council in 1996, where he served for 10 years. He then went on to serve for 16 years as a member of the Hawaii State House of Representatives.
Prior to his public service, Tokioka worked his way through the hospitality industry, both in Hawai‘i and across the United States, doing everything from bussing tables to managing hotels and owning restaurants. Tokioka has also worked for Oceanic Time Warner Cable/Spectrum, where he oversaw new business management programs and assisted with securing the largest single contract in the company’s history.
Tokioka studied at Holiday University in Mississippi, where he completed the accelerated certification program in Hotel, Food and Beverage, Guest Services and Security Management.