Mayor-Elect Bruce Harrell Announces First Wave of Administration Leaders
December 13, 2021 | Press Release
Seattle — Today, Seattle Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell announced the first significant hires of his administration — the beginning of a diverse and experienced team of leaders that will support his efforts to unify, inspire, and address the urgent challenges facing Seattle. Members of the team include civic leaders from inside and outside local government, bringing critical lived and professional experience to the issues the mayor-elect will address.
"Our announcement today makes clear that my administration will be centered on competency and urgency," said Mayor-elect Harrell. "My administration will combine ambitious vision and bold, progress-driving ideas with the experienced leadership needed to take action and hit the ground running. I'm proud of the team we're building, united around the common purpose of making Seattle a bright, prosperous, and thriving city for all. Our team will set a new tone and deliver positive change through new energy and proven decisiveness rooted in community relationships and values."
Mayor-elect Harrell's administration will operate with three deputy mayors, including Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell; a newly created position of deputy mayor of housing and homelessness led by Tiffany Washington; and a deputy mayor of external relations. Mayor-elect Harrell has chosen to keep the deputy mayor of external relations position open in January given his commitment to listen closely to constituents before making his hiring decision.
"I want that deputy mayor position to focus on what the residents and small businesses demanded from the City when they elected me," said Mayor-elect Harrell. "The deputy mayor of external relations will help build the external partnerships needed to deliver results in measurable terms."
As Seattle addresses immediate challenges of public safety, reimagining current police services to include non-armed responders, and negotiating a new police contract that inspires stability, service, and excellence, Monisha Harrell brings over a decade of leadership as one of the state's foremost leaders addressing police reform, including service as a deputy monitor for Seattle's longstanding federal consent decree.
Tiffany Washington, a housing and human services leader currently serving as a Seattle deputy mayor, will ensure needed continuity as Mayor-elect Harrell takes office and implements an ambitious agenda for addressing the crisis of homelessness and housing insecurity. This new position will be laser focused on every aspect of the City's work to addresses housing needs. Developing accountability, transparency and streamlining processes for housing will be among the directives.
Other direct reports to Mayor-elect Harrell include City of Seattle leaders past and present. Former City Councilmember and interim Mayor Tim Burgess will serve as director of strategic initiatives, working on and overseeing projects designated by Mayor-elect Harrell as key priorities. The current City Council Central Staff Deputy Director Dan Eder will serve as director of policy, ensuring the Mayor's Office is a driving force behind innovative policy development for the City.
SDOT Transportation Operations Division Director Adiam Emery will join the Mayor's Office in a new role of chief equity officer, tasked with delivering on the mayor-elect's vision to make tangible progress embedding equity across City departments and programs. Mayor-elect Harrell stated, "As we continue to train, educate, and learn about race and social justice, we will enhance our focus on operationalizing an ambitious equity plan in real, measurable terms."
An expert in private and public sector housing policy, Marco Lowe will serve as chief operations officer, focused on driving efficiencies in Seattle's public utility agencies, making Seattle government more transparent and accessible, and streamlining housing and infrastructure construction. "One way to fight for an affordable Seattle is to make sure our government operations reflect the need for cities to think outside of the box in terms of operational excellence," said Mayor-elect Harrell.
In his first move addressing department leadership, Mayor-elect Harrell will appoint current Innovation and Performance Interim Director Julie Dingley to serve as interim director of the City Budget Office. Dingley replaces Ben Noble, who recently announced his departure from the office.
Other key members of Mayor-elect Harrell's incoming staff announced today include Pedro Gómez and Gerald Hankerson, who will work closely on the external affairs and equity work directed by the Harrell administration; and Vinh Tang, who will help drive several of Harrell's technology initiatives centered around accessibility, affordability, equity, and keeping Seattle competitive in the global marketplace.
Mayor-elect Harrell's transition team, featuring 12 committees and nearly 150 members, continues to help build his administration and early agenda. Additional announcements of incoming administration staff and department heads will continue over the next several weeks before his inauguration on January 4th.
Learn more about Mayor-elect Harrell and his transition structure at seattle.gov/mayor-elect.