Mayor Murray today announced that he has named Kate Joncas, the long-standing president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), as deputy mayor of operations.
“For the past twenty years, Kate has been a collaborative leader on a wide variety of issues important to our downtown core,” said Murray. “From transit and economic development to human services and the redevelopment of our central waterfront, she has been a well-respected, deeply involved and highly influential voice in this city. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, and she also brings history of delivering successful results. I am fortunate and grateful for Kate’s willingness to join my team as deputy mayor.”
“I am very grateful and excited to be able to support Mayor Murray in achieving his vision for Seattle,” said Joncas. “The City has a talented team of experts in every department, and I look forward to establishing a new working relationship with them, and working together on behalf of this city to strengthen the community that we all care so much about.”
During her tenure as president and CEO of DSA, Joncas grew the organization from 350 members and eight staff, to more than 550 corporate members, 800 residential members and 120 staff serving DSA and its affiliate organizations MID and Commute Seattle. Her resume can be found here.
Joncas replaces Andrea Riniker, who came out of retirement to serve as internal deputy mayor on a temporary basis.
The deputy mayor of operations will continue to function as Murray’s operations lead, which includes communicating mayoral priorities to City departments, coordinating activities both among City departments and between departments and the Mayor’s Office, setting performance outcomes and driving organizational efficiencies. Joncas will also play a key role in the ongoing development of Murray’s economic development strategy.
The deputy mayor of operations will also continue to complement the role of Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim. A former Executive Director of InterIm Community Development Association, Kim focuses on community and external relations, and is Mayor Murray’s chief liaison to Seattle’s many diverse communities, neighborhoods, other external stakeholders within Seattle, as well as state, regional and national leaders.
“The executive leadership team that the Mayor has recruited includes a diverse mix of experiences and backgrounds,” said Kim. “Kate will add tremendously to this team, and we are very excited to work with her. She is the right person to help the Mayor implement his vision for excellence in city governance.”
Murray’s selection received vocal and broad support from the community.
“Kate’s been great for downtown,” said Matt Griffin, managing partner at Pine Street Group LLC. “The mayor and the rest of the city are lucky to get her.”
“Our downtown is viewed nationally as one of the best in the country thanks in part to Kate’s efforts and stewardship,” said Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom. “She has been behind the scenes and on the front lines as a champion for change, contributing significantly to the health and vibrancy of our community.”
“Kate is a smart business leader and a community collaborator who does a tremendous job at finding common ground to move projects forward,” said Bill Hobson, executive director of Downtown Emergency Services.
“Her efforts in support of the 1811 Eastlake project and the establishment of the Center City Initiative have helped our community make great strides in treating addiction and mental illness.”
“Kate is a great listener and a strong collaborator who handles even the greatest challenges with grace,” said Pamela Banks, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. “In her new role she will bring a fresh perspective to city-wide issues. Her previous experience in working with City departments will also be a tremendous asset, and will benefit all of Seattle’s communities.”
“Kate has a well-deserved reputation, locally and nationally, for leading perhaps the best run association of its kind across the country,” said Beth Takekawa, executive director of the Wing Luke Museum. “It’s a reflection of her dedication, leadership and ability to bring people together who don’t always think alike to address complex issues.”
“Kate shares a love for our city and a passion for making it better,” said Jack McCullough, general counsel and partner at McCullough Hill Leary PS. “It’s something she’s demonstrated while leading the Downtown Seattle Association, and will be bringing with her to the Mayor’s Office. The issues she has championed for center city neighborhoods, from transportation and economic development to parks and public safety, are issues important to all Seattle neighborhoods – fortunately for all of us, her geographic footprint is now getting a little bigger.”
Murray also had kind words for the outgoing deputy mayor of operations.
“I want to extend my profound thanks to Andrea Riniker for her tremendous work over the past six months to develop the permanent deputy mayor role that Kate will now fulfill,” said Murray. “The Mayor’s Office has benefited greatly from her guidance and recommendations. I wish her the best as she resumes her well-earned retirement.”
Joncas will begin her new role on June 30. Her annual salary will be $170,000.