Mayor Bruce Harrell Announces New Leadership at Offices of Sustainability and Environment, Economic Development, and Department of Neighborhoods
New appointments include Jessyn Farrell at OSE, Markham McIntyre at OED, and Greg Wong at DON
Seattle – Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of three new members of his Cabinet.
Former State Representative Jessyn Farrell will lead the Office of Environment and Sustainability, taking over for Interim Director Michelle Caulfield, who will return to the office as deputy director. Farrell will be tasked with implementing a pioneering climate agenda, elevating communities most impacted by issues of environmental justice, and helping to leverage millions in state and federal funds to address the climate crisis.
“Jessyn Farrell understands Seattle must set the example for the nation as a bold, climate-forward City that leads by partnering with underrepresented communities too often left out,” said Mayor Harrell. “Jessyn will bring the bring the ambitious policy ideas and experience, needed collaborative approach, and vision grounded in a true commitment to environmental justice necessary to make the most of this moment and ensure a healthy Seattle environment today and for future generations.”
Markham McIntyre will serve in the Office of Economic Development, leading the agency with a focus on small business support, workforce development, and equity initiatives – specifically focused on growing contracting opportunities, improving access to capital, and removing barriers to success.
“Ensuring a true pandemic recovery means supercharging our Office of Economic Development, and Markham has the experience, energy, and shared vision needed to make that possible,” said Mayor Harrell. “I’ve heard time and again that small and local businesses want an accessible department focused on equity, innovation, and outcomes. Markham is the right leader to make the most of COVID recovery investments and work with Seattle businesses to drive real economic development that benefits our entire community.”
Harrell is appointing Greg Wong to lead the Department of Neighborhoods, tasking the experienced community leader with driving local engagement, coordinating neighborhood strategies citywide, and charting a future direction for a City full of unique, vibrant, and welcoming neighborhoods.
“Greg Wong is exactly the kind of analytical, community-focused leader we need at our Department of Neighborhoods,” said Mayor Harrell. “Together, we will redefine what makes a ‘good neighborhood’ – working to ensure every community in Seattle has strong access to affordable housing, good jobs and successful small businesses, great schools, safe streets, robust parks, and a true feeling of inclusivity. Greg’s demonstrated work ethic and values-driven approach, along with his long record of local leadership and community partnership, make him well equipped to lead this work.”
“I want to thank Directors Pamela Banks, Michelle Caulfield, and Andrés Mantilla for their service to our City during exceptionally challenging times – we owe them each a debt of gratitude,” said Mayor Harrell. “I’m proud of the Cabinet and leadership team of our administration. We are striving every day to showcase Seattle’s diversity through an array of backgrounds and life experiences, driving better representation for all.”
What People Are Saying
Michelle Caulfield, Interim Director, Office of Sustainability and Environment
"It's been my honor to step up during this time of transition and lead an incredible team dedicated to advancing climate action and environmental justice. I couldn't be more excited to welcome -- and work alongside -- Jessyn Farrell, whose policy leadership and comprehensive approach to the issues in front of us will drive urgent action, help leverage state and federal funds, and take the Office of Sustainability and Environment to the next level."
Jaebadiah Gardner, Founder, GardnerGlobal “Seattle’s small businesses – especially those owned and operated by Black and Brown and under-considered communities – need attention and support from their local government to succeed and thrive. Markham understands the existing and emerging needs facing small businesses, and how action drives true equity and wealth building. He is well equipped to deliver needed help with consistency, creativity, and urgency and will be a strong advocate and needed voice for women- and minority-owned businesses at the Office of Economic Development.” Marie Kurose, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County "Markham McIntyre has been a tremendous collaborator with our team at the Workforce Development Council and our network of partners. He exhibits an expansive and inclusive leadership style that will be critical to advancing equitable and innovative economic development strategies that align with the needs of businesses and workers in Seattle and our region. I look forward to continued partnership with Markham to increase access to quality jobs and address deep racial disparities.”
Michelle Merriweather, CEO and President, Urban League
"Mayor Harrell is building a power bench within the City of Seattle. Markham's appointment as the Director of Office of Economic Development is no different. I am excited to continue to work with Markham to expand opportunities for small businesses, especially businesses led by people of color. What he brings to the City from the Chamber is invaluable; from the relationships with businesses of all sizes, compassion, and the intentionality to lean in, listen, learn, and support. The Office of Economic Development is in good hands at such an important time in our City."
Erin Okuno, Executive Director, Southeast Seattle Education Coalition
“Greg has a long history and commitment to social justice; it is evident in his work, leadership, and volunteer services. I believe he will harness these relationships and experiences to boost and support Seattle's neighborhoods.”
Interim Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environment Jessyn Farrell Jessyn Farrell, J.D., is a leader in building public consensus on difficult issues related to the environment, housing, transportation, and the economy. A long-time environmental advocate, Jessyn’s career has spanned the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors as a state legislator from the 46th District, Executive Director of Transportation Choices and most recently as Senior Vice President at Civic Ventures. Jessyn passed ground-breaking legislation on oil-by-rail safety, affordable housing near transit centers, education funding for low-income and homeless youth, protections for pregnant workers, and restrictions to cell-phone use while driving. She also led advocacy efforts resulting in billions of dollars in regional light rail investments. Jessyn has three kids, a dog, a cat, and is working on her first book.
Interim Director of the Office of Economic Development Markham McIntyre Markham McIntyre was born and raised in Seattle on Capitol Hill. Before joining OED, he was the Executive Vice President at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, where he led economic development, equity partnerships, and regional outreach. Prior to working at the Chamber, Markham worked for then-Congressman Jay Inslee and, before that, he was a farmer in East King County. He’s passionate about Seattle sports, being outdoors, and supporting our local businesses. He lives with his wife, Alexa, and two kids, Grace and Bo, in Madrona, a few miles away from where he grew up.
Interim Director of the Department of Neighborhoods Greg Wong Greg Wong is a community leader and attorney experienced in addressing a diverse array of complex issues that impact our lives. As a lawyer, his work included preventing gun violence, ensuring investments in our people and public services, creating more just and equitable economic and educational systems, and numerous other issues. A recipient of the Seattle Council PTSA’s Golden Acorn Award and Seattle Public School’s Citizen Service Award, Wong has led school levy campaigns, helped establish the City’s high-quality, affordable preschool program, and served in executive board roles with several community nonprofits. Before becoming an attorney, he worked locally in homeless and affordable housing services, was an eighth-grade science teacher in the Mississippi Delta, and coordinated a tutoring center for children living in public housing. Born and raised in Seattle, he has a deep love for the City’s unique neighborhoods and a deep belief in the people of Seattle’s ability to create vibrant, thriving, and safe communities for everyone. Wong lives in Southeast Seattle with his wife and children.