Department of Land and Natural Resources
William J. Aila Jr., chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, grew up on the Wai`anae Coast, on the island of O’ahu and worked on his family’s cattle ranch. He learned to love the ocean fishing and diving near his great-grandmother’s beach home, learning from her the values of respect for the ocean and conservation of its resources.
He gained a degree in General Tropical Agriculture from the University of Hawai`i, and for 24 years served as the harbormaster for the Wai`anae Small Boat Harbor. He has served on numerous appointed and volunteer boards, and helped create the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. He is an environmentalist, Hawaiian cultural practitioner and is dedicated to preserving Hawaii’s land and ocean for future generations.