Director of Department of Neighborhoods, City of Seattle
Kathy Nyland’s path to policy and public service is a little less traditional than most. Her neighborhood advocacy work has led her to achieve a rare trifecta: beating City Hall, working with City Hall and now working in City Hall.
Over the years, Nyland has strategized and advocated on behalf of neighborhoods and other underrepresented communities. She founded a neighborhood business association, chaired Seattle’s City Neighborhood Council organization, mobilized her community and prevailed on a number of David versus Goliath issues, including the creation of Seattle’s Zero Waste Policy.
Prior to taking on her role as Senior Policy Advisor in Mayor Ed Murray’s administration, Nyland served as Chief of Staff to a Seattle City Councilmember. In 2015, Mayor Murray appointed Nyland the director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
Driven by a sense of fairness and a wonky passion for outreach, Nyland believes in the power of good policy and public engagement. She’s mobilized community resources, engaged broad public participation in programs and projects, and identified emerging community leaders, all while understanding that civic engagement depends upon access to information.
These are just some of the reasons why she applauds Mayor Murray’s recent Executive Order, which focuses on equitable outreach and engagement practices that reaffirm the City’s commitment to inclusive participation. It’s about relationships, people and partnerships -- coupled with a bit of optimism and belief.
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