Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo
Jesse Souki

Jesse Souki


State of Hawaii Office of Planning

Mr. Souki was recently appointed by the Governor of the State of Hawaii to serve as the Director of the Office of Planning. The Office of Planning is charged with providing technical assistance in administering the Hawaii State Planning Act, being the lead agency for the federal Coastal Zone Management Act for the state, coordinating the state's geographic information system, and representing the state before the State Land Use Commission. Mr. Souki’s priority issues for the Office are ensuring that statewide planning balances the triple bottom-line (environment, economics, social/cultural), establishing a statewide climate change policy, implementing the Sustainability Act 2011, and reinvigorating the implementation functions of the Hawaii State Planning Act.

Mr. Souki has a career of experience working on land use matters for private developers and for local, state, and federal governments. Most recently, Mr. Souki served as an attorney for the City and County of Honolulu's proposed 20-mile, 21- station rail transit project, where he provided advice and counsel to clients in the areas of state and federal environmental review, permitting, zoning, and administrative proceedings and litigation related to these areas.

Prior to joining the City, he served as a Deputy Corporation Counsel for the County of Maui, where he advised the planning department and planning commission. He then joined the law firm of Imanaka, Kudo & Fujimoto, where he advised both private and government clients on land use projects that included industrial, commercial, residential, and resort developments. Mr. Souki has lectured on various issues related to land use and real estate law and co-authored legal practice guides related to these areas. In addition, he manages and authors one of Hawaii’s first legal blogs. Established in 2007, Hawaii Land Use Law and Policy includes commentary and comprehensive analysis of court opinions and legislation related to land use, environmental, and planning law and policy in the State of Hawaii.

He currently volunteers as the 2011 Chair of the Hawaii State Bar Association’s (HSBA), Natural Resources Section, and is a member of the American Bar Association's, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Among other recent honors, he was selected as a fellow for the HSBA's 2009 Leadership Institute.

Mr. Souki earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in political science with a focus in futures studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned his degree of juris doctor from the Seattle University School of Law in 2004, where he was a member of the law journal and moot court board. While in law school, he was selected for membership in the Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization recognizing oral advocacy and brief writing skills.

Mr. Souki is licensed to practice law in the State of Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

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