Jesse Souki

Executive Director and CEO

Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA)

Mr. Souki leads a team of planners, engineers, architects, and support staff in carrying out the direction of four boards with oversight over three community development districts on the island of Oahu.  The Authority’s work should result in economic and social opportunities and aim to meet the highest needs and aspirations of Hawaii's people.  A primary component of Mr. Souki’s work includes working with communities and stakeholders on identifying a long-range vision for the future and empowering them to implement that vision through strategic action.

Prior to joining the Authority, he practiced law in both the public and private sectors, where his practice focused on land use and real estate development.  His work included providing legal support on a wide range of projects as it relates to local, state, and federal land use regulations, including hotel and resort, mixed-use planned communities, public infrastructure, shoreline and costal development, and rail transit.  He has appeared before boards and commissions on these matters and defended them before the courts.

His passion for public service and government’s role in effectuating and supporting well-planned communities led him to serve in leadership roles at the State Office Planning, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.  In these capacities, his work included developing the first statewide climate adaptation policy signed into law in the Nation; producing a statewide transit-oriented development strategy; providing project oversight, consultation, and support for various state capital improvement projects; and negotiating the international agreement to host the World Conservation Congress.

Mr. Souki was born and raised on the island of Maui and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he received an undergraduate degree in economics and a graduate degree in political science with a focus on futures studies.  After earning his graduate degree, he worked on transportation policy for a U.S. Senator on Capitol Hill, before attending the Seattle University School of Law where he earned his law degree.  He is a member of the Hawaii and District of Columbia bar associations.