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Mayor-Elect Bruce Harrell Announces First Wave of Administration Leaders

Harrell assembles first building blocks of a diverse and outcome-driven team of forward-thinking leaders

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.


Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell

Monisha Harrell is Board Chair for Equal Rights Washington and is a member of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. Harrell has served as a fellow for Lifelong AIDS Alliance, co-chair of the Capitol Hill LGBTQ Public Safety Task Force, an appointee to the City of Seattle’s 2017 search committee for the Director of Police Accountability, and co-chair for the De-Escalate Washington campaign committee (I-940) requiring de-escalation training for all law enforcement officers in Washington state in 2018. The Governor and Attorney General have appointed Harrell to serve on task forces and working groups addressing police accountability, independent investigations involving police use of force, and hate crimes.


Deputy Mayor of Housing and Homelessness Tiffany Washington

Tiffany Washington has worked on some of the City’s most formidable challenges before and during the pandemic. She has served as Division Director of Homelessness within the Seattle Department of Human Services and as Deputy Director at the Department of Education and Early Learning. She has contributed to initiatives that build more opportunities for Seattle’s youth, including Seattle Promise and Seattle Youth Employment. Her passion for racial, educational, and economic justice can be traced back to her early work as a youth outreach worker in Seattle’s Central District. Before coming to city government in 2015, she served as Vice President of Programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound and Director of Youth Programs at the Mockingbird Society, an advocacy organization serving foster youth across Washington.