Georgette A. Furukawa has been named the Director of Public Engagement for the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council), effective January 18. As a former strategic consultant, development director, and external affairs advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy, Furukawa brings more than 15 years of public, private, and civil society experience to the role.
As Director of Public Engagement, Furukawa will work at the local, state, and national levels to ensure community leaders, diverse perspectives, and new voices all have the opportunity to inform the work of the Permitting Council Executive Director. She will create and maintain a two-way dialogue between the Permitting Council and communities across the nation to ensure that voices are heard and that concerns can be translated into action across the Federal infrastructure permitting spectrum. She will lead agency outreach efforts to improve public awareness of the Federal infrastructure environmental review and authorization process and help facilitate engagement from communities to improve the process.
“I am very excited to welcome Georgette to our team,” said Executive Director Christine Harada. “Georgette will be essential to promoting open and effective communication with our many stakeholders. We are committed to considering the diverse views and priorities of state and local governments, Tribal nations, and environmental justice communities in our policies."
Furukawa was most recently Principal for Aestival Strategies, LLC, working with clients in the medical and technology industries. Prior to Aestival Strategies, LLC, she was the Vice President of Government Affairs for global developer and real estate company, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
As the former Advisor for Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy under the Obama administration, Furukawa oversaw external affairs strategies, managed stakeholder relationships, and advanced policy and administration priorities. She also served as the Director of Development for the U.S.-Japan Council, a nonprofit focused on strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. As Senior Associate for External Affairs at Sony, she worked on issues from privacy and innovation to sustainability and conflict minerals. Furukawa has also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for former Congressman Neil Abercrombie and the State of Hawaiʻi for former Lieutenant Governor Mazie K. Hirono.
Furukawa is the first of two children of Japanese immigrants. She holds a bachelor's degree in foreign languages (Chinese and Japanese) and a minor in East Asian studies from Lewis & Clark College.