University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood on Friday approved the selection of Jerry Chang, former Hawaii state representative, as the new director of University Relations at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Chang succeeds Gerald De Mello, who retired on Dec. 31 after serving 21 years in that position. Chang’s appointment began Friday.
“I am very happy and excited to have Jerry join the UH-Hilo ohana, and know that he will be a tremendous asset,” noted UH-Hilo Chancellor Don Straney. “Jerry brings with him familiarity with the UH System, a broad range of legislative experience, and a thorough understanding of public policy issues, including the state’s budgetary process. I am confident he will move into this position and make progress with little or no lag time.”
Chang served as a Hawaii state representative for over 20 years, beginning in 1989. He was chair of the House Tourism and Culture Committee from 2001-2007, chair of the House Higher Education Committee from 2007-2010, and most recently, chair of the Water, Land and Ocean Resources Committee.
Chang graduated from UH-Hilo in 1978 with a B.A. in sociology, was a medical specialist with the U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Sergeant, E-5, and is active in numerous community, professional and business organizations.