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Friday, January 28, 2022

Mayor Harrell Appoints New Department Leaders And Hires Director Of Public Safety

Hamdi Mohamed will direct the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs; Maiko Winkler-Chin will lead the Office of Housing; Andrew Myerberg will join the Mayor’s Office as Director of Public Safety.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently announced additional members of his Cabinet, appointing new directors to the Office of Housing and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. Harrell also announced the hiring of a director of public safety within the Mayor’s Office.

Harrell will appoint Hamdi Mohamed to serve as director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. Recently elected King County Port Commissioner, Mohamed brings more than a decade of experience working on immigrant and refugee issues, including as a policy advisor for King County. As director, she will serve Seattle’s diverse immigrant community by fostering relationships citywide, facilitating meaningful outreach, and creating a proactive office centered on inclusion.

“I sponsored the legislation that created the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and continue to advocate for it to be a chief conduit in driving authentic connections between communities and City government,” said Harrell. “We can’t be One Seattle without sustained and consistent input from our immigrant and refugee communities – they cannot be an afterthought. I am confident that Hamdi Mohamed shares this vision and will develop the authentic, on-the-ground partnerships needed to take this office to the next level.

“I want to thank Director Cuc Vu for her service to our City and for her thoughtful, steadfast support for immigrant and refugee communities in our region.”

Harrell will appoint Maiko Winkler-Chin, longtime housing leader and executive director of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority as director of the Office of Housing. Winkler-Chin will be charged with leading the office at a time of rapid change, as it receives significant resources for building and maintaining housing and provides rental assistance and support for tenants and small landlords.

“Maiko Winkler-Chin recognizes the twin pressures of a dire need for more affordable housing and the critical importance of supporting Seattle’s longstanding communities, especially those at risk of displacement,” said Harrell. “She knows solutions to these challenges don’t have to be mutually exclusive if efforts get beyond soundbites and are instead collaborative and forward-thinking. Maiko wouldn’t be willing to leave her job of nearly two decades if we didn’t have a real opportunity to make positive change for our City at this unprecedented moment. I’m so excited to see her proven leadership in action – advancing major investments, improving office processes, and bringing an innovative approach and a culturally-adept lens to make Seattle’s Office of Housing a national leader.

“I want to express my gratitude to Interim Director Robin Koskey for her leadership – stepping up to direct this department during difficult and fast-changing times.”

Finally, Andrew Myerberg, the current director of the Office of Police Accountability, will join Harrell’s office as director of public safety. Working with Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell, Myerberg will play a key role in developing new models of public safety, working collaboratively with Seattle Police and Fire Departments, and helping guide oversight and reform efforts.

“Facing a changing landscape and so many new and ongoing safety crises, my administration is putting public safety at the top of the agenda,” said Harrell. “Andrew Myerberg brings an expert’s understanding of the issues in front of us, along with a diverse set of professional experiences working toward a safer City for all residents. I have no doubt Andrew will enhance our efforts and help originate the bold ideas needed to make change as we enter negotiations on a police contract, stand up a new department of unarmed public safety officers, and build a Seattle Police Department with staffing levels and a culture to match our local needs and local values.”

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