Commissioners

Randall Y. Iwase, Chair

ChairRandall Y. Iwase was appointed as the Chair of the Commission in January 2015 and named Chair of the Commission by Governor David Y. Ige for a term to expire on June 30, 2020. Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Chair Iwase served as the Chair of the Hawaii State Tax Review and Chair of the Hawaii Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board.  He also served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General where his division provided legal counsel to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Public Utilities Commission.  Chair Iwase is a former state senator and former Honolulu city council member. Chair Iwase holds a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and a B.A from the University of Florida, Gainsville, where he graduated with honors.

Lorraine H. Akiba, Commissioner

Lorraine H. Akiba, CommissionerLorraine H. Akiba was appointed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission  in January 2012 by Governor Neil Abercrombie for a term to expire June 30, 2018.  Prior to this appointment, she worked in private practice as a law partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP and Cades Schutte Flemming & Wright LLP.  She headed the Environmental Practice Groups at both law firms with an emphasis in environmental and natural resources law in addition to her commercial and business litigation practice.

Commissioner Akiba also previously served the public as the Director of the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and as Chair of the State of Hawaii Environmental Council.

Commissioner Akiba has held leadership positions at a number of professional organizations including the Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation, the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations, and the Hawaii State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. She currently serves on the board of the Hawaii Medical Service Association. She has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Hawaii Rural Development Council, Aloha United Way, the Hawaii Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and the Hawaii Appleseed Public Interest Law Center.  She is currently a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and serves on its Energy Resources and Environment Committee and is also a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s (“EPRI”) Advisory Council.

Commissioner Akiba holds a J.D. from the  University of California, Hastings College of the Law and graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in political science.

Thomas C. Gorak, Commissioner

Thomas C. GorakThomas C. Gorak was appointed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on an interim basis beginning on July 1, 2016. Commissioner Gorak has practiced law since 1977, specializing in public utility regulation at both the federal and state levels for the past 37 years. From September 2013 through June 2016, Commissioner Gorak worked closely with the Commission as its chief counsel, serving as the chief legal and regulatory advisor.

Commissioner Gorak previously worked as a staff attorney with the Maryland People’s Counsel, where he was co-counsel in two major federal court cases which led to the restructuring of federal regulation of the natural gas industry, and later and as a private attorney in Washington, D.C., representing a broad spectrum of clients in public utility matters. After moving to Hawaii in 2003, Commissioner Gorak continued to represent clients in public utility matters, both on the mainland and before the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Over the years, Commissioner Gorak has gained national recognition for his expertise in matters concerning the regulated utility industry. For seventeen years, Commissioner Gorak served as an instructor at regulatory courses for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He has also published a number of articles concerning utility restructuring issues.

Commissioner Gorak holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and general business from the University of Maryland. He is admitted to the bars of Hawaii, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, as well as a number of federal bars.