Mayor-Elect Harrell Makes Additional City Leadership Announcements – Seattle Medium – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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On Wednesday, Seattle Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell announced the latest round of hires joining his administration’s cabinet as he prepares to enter office next week and continues to build out his executive department and cabinet. 

“Over the past several months, I have heard – in transition meetings and on the street, with city leaders and with everyday neighbors – calls for a representative and responsive City government. My executive team and cabinet are being built with that priority front of mind,” said Harrell. “I’m excited by the team of leaders we’ve convened to effectively move Seattle forward. In my administration, you’ll see our staff truly engage with the community – visible and accessible to all, empowered to take action, and committed to seeking the solutions that drive positive change.”

Drawing on the input and stated priorities of community leaders, Harrell has hired Kendee Yamaguchi to serve as deputy mayor of external affairs. Yamaguchi, a former City employee who currently serves as executive director for Snohomish County, will be tasked with fostering strong and collaborative relationships between the City of Seattle and community groups, non-profit organizations, and local businesses.

Yamaguchi will help support the City’s COVID response, direct the mayor-elect’s external relations team, and coordinate mayoral priorities around cultural initiatives and events, including in the arts, film, music, sports, job creation and nightlife sectors.

Harrell will appoint Gael Tarleton as interim director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations. Tarleton will bring her experience as a former state legislator and port commissioner to facilitate collaboration across all levels of government, advocate for federal and state investments, and ensure the City of Seattle is a trusted and engaged partner in regional efforts. 

“Gael Tarleton’s proven leadership will be a huge asset for Seattle,” said Harrell. “Her unique ability to build and sustain productive relationships will greatly enhance Seattle’s ability to increa


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