Linda Chu Takayama is the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for the State of Hawaii. The department includes unemployment insurance, workforce development, worker safety (OSHA), workers compensation, health insurance, wage and hour standards, nonprofit grants and civil rights.
She served as Director of Economic Development for the City & County of Honolulu where her duties included community revitalization, agriculture and international affairs.
She was also an attorney with practice areas in county, state and federal regulatory and governmental affairs, health, insurance, land development and corporate business law.
Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, which regulates businesses, banks and financial institutions, real estate sales, securities, insurance, cable television and 30 boards and commissions.
Formerly, she was Hawaii Insurance Commissioner. As the chief regulator of the state’s insurance industry, she was responsible for enforcing Hawaii’s insurance code, including insurance rates, financial examinations, and admission, as well as the licensing of individual agents. During her tenure, she developed programs to stabilize and expand a collapsing property insurance market in the highly volatile period following the unprecedented losses of Hurricane Iniki, including the establishment of a $1.5 billion pool for hurricane insurance (Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund) and led national efforts to seek a federal solution to catastrophe exposure.
Prior to that, she served as chief of staff to the U.S.Senate Sergeant Arms in Washington, D.C., the largest office in the Senate, responsible for providing support services, security and technical services to Senate offices, with a budget of $120 million and a staff of more than 1,500. The Office included the Senate Computer Center, Recording Studio, Post Office, Capitol Police, Telecommunications, Capitol Guide Service, four press galleries, Photographic Studio, custodial services, print shop and services to 400 district offices.
Earlier, she was the Director of State Legislative Affairs and Agricultural Issues for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inc., in Washington, D.C., a national trade association representing the Fortune 500 manufacturers of food and other consumer products sold in grocery stores. She covered agricultural issues in the Congress, legislation in 50 states, and international regulation of the food industry. She also helped to establish a national network of foodbanks and worked closely with the Reagan White House on private sector initiatives.
Born and raised in Honolulu, she received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Hawaii. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and Hawaii.
She currently serves as the Chair of the Hawaii Foodbank (named the No. 1 charity in Hawaii) and as a director on the boards of the Hawaii Health Information Corporation and Zephyr Insurance Company. She was a director on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, which provides services to 8 states, and on the board of governors of the East-West Center. She was a founder and coordinator of Ready to Learn, a nonprofit program providing school supplies to 25,000 needy children in Hawaii and is a founder and current Treasurer of Hawaii 3R’s, a program providing repair and maintenance on Hawaii public schools.