Governor Ige appointed Suzanne Case as Chair of the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources in April, 2015.
Case is a 28-year veteran of The Nature Conservancy, having served as the Hawai‘i Program’s Executive Director from 2001-2015. During this time she oversaw a program of 75+ staff, 16 preserves totaling 53,000 acres, and an annual operating budget of $11 million. From 1987-2001 Case served as Western and Asia/Pacific Regional Counsel for The Nature Conservancy. In these capacities she worked in native forest stewardship, land protection, and coastal and marine conservation, directly and through collaborative partnerships, throughout the main Hawaiian Islands and Palmyra Atoll, the western United States, and the Asia/Pacific Region.
During her years at The Nature Conservancy, Case oversaw the acquisition of the 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch addition to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, eight Hawai‘i Nature Conservancy preserves, Palmyra Atoll, new National Wildlife Refuges at Hakalau on the slopes of Mauna Kea and at O‘ahu Forest, and assisted with the formation of watershed partnerships for forested management throughout Hawaii, the growth of networks of local communities working to restore their near-shore marine resources, and implementation of large-scale projects to remove invasive algae from Hawai‘i’s reefs and coastal areas.
Case was born in Hilo and grew up in Hilo and Honolulu. She attended Waiakea-Kai Elementary School, Keaukaha Elementary School and Punahou School (1974). Case attended Williams College and Stanford University, where she graduated with honors (B.A., History, 1979). She received her law degree from Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San Francisco, where she was a member of the Hastings Law Journal (1983). Case practiced real estate transactions law at the law firm of Pettit & Martin in San Francisco from 1983 to 1987.
Recognitions and Affiliations:
Co-creator, “Ke Hoʻolono Nei”, a Hawaiian song about loss and stewardship of native Hawaiian forest birds, and Maoli Nō, a free educational DVD of Hawaiian songs, chants and stories developed by The Nature Conservancy in 2003 for the Year of the Hawaiian Forest on the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Hawai‘i forest reserve system
Hoʻokele Non-Profit Leadership Award, Hawai‘i Community Foundation & W. A. Gerbode Foundation, 2014
The Garden Club of Honolulu Hui Māla Award, 2009; Distinguished Friend 2012
YWCA Leader Honoree, 2009
Member, Social Science Association, Hawai‘i
Member, Lambda Alpha International real estate society
Member, Advisory Council, University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human