City Asks for Citizen Input via Survey for Selecting New SDOT Chief

Mayor'sLogoSeattle Mayor Ed Murray yesterday said he will conduct a national search to find an experienced, visionary, accountable executive to lead the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). As part of that process he’s asking Seattle citizens and residents to weigh in on the process by taking a survey which asks what Seattle wants in a Transportation Chief.  Take the survey here.

“We’re looking for a leader who can develop a comprehensive strategy to harmonize the many transportation options available in our city,” Murray said. “As Seattle continues to grow, our multi-modal offerings must be coordinated with one another and with regional systems. We need to stay true to the goals of our City’s pedestrian, bicycle, transit and freight plans, but the larger goal is to integrate these modes to move people and goods seamlessly and efficiently.”

Similar to the process for identifying Seattle’s next Police Chief, the Mayor’s office is moving quickly to name a new Director of Transportation while allowing time to encourage and consider community input with the help of a Community Advisory Committee. The committee is co-chaired by Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl and former SDOT Director John Okamoto and is comprised of transportation experts with representatives from Transportation Choices Coalition, Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club and WA Bus, among other organizations.

An eight-member Search Committee will then integrate those community perspectives into the search and will work with a firm to review applicants and present finalists to the Mayor for his consideration. The Search Committee is also co-chaired by Earl and Okamoto.

There are several ways the public can engage in this process beginning today:

  • The Mayor’s Office is inviting the community to comment on desired qualities for the Transportation Director. Those community perspectives will be shared with the Advisory Committee for their review and consideration in creating selection criteria for the Search Committee. To participate, please visit to participate in a short survey which will be available until mid-April.
  • The Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit, to be held April 5 at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall, will offer another opportunity to provide feedback. Learn more about the Summit at

By mid-April, the Community Advisory Committee will finalize their assessment criteria for use by the Search Committee. A national search will then commence. It’s expected that interviews will be conducted in late May with a decision by June.

Learn more about the process and participate in the feedback process by visiting

The Director of Transportation reports to the Mayor and has management oversight of more than 750 employees and an annual operating budget of more than $400 million.

The Community Advisory Committee members are listed below:

  • Joni Earl (Co-Chair), CEO, Sound Transit
  • John Okamoto (Co-Chair), Former SDOT Director
  • Kate Joncas, President, Downtown Seattle Association
  • Elizabeth Kiker, Executive Director, Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Jessyn Farrell, 46th District State Representative, WA State Legislature
  • David Kalberer, Transportation Consultant
  • Rob Johnson, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition
  • Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair, Seattle City Council
  • Lisa Quinn, Executive Director, Feet First
  • Josh Kavanagh, Director of Transportation, University of WA
  • Kurt Beckett, Chief of Staff, Port of Seattle
  • Toby Chrittenden, Executive Director, WA Bus
  • Kevin Desmond, General Manager, King County Metro Transit
  • Martin Duke, Editor and Founder, Seattle Transit Blog
  • Barb Chamberlain, WA Bikes
  • Hilary Franz, Executive Director, Futurewise
  • John Franklin, HDR Inc.
  • Warren Aakervik, Chair, Seattle Freight Advisory Board
  • Paulo Nunes-Ueno, Director of Transportation, Children’s Hospital
  • Ann Martin, Co-Chair, Seattle Transportation Levy Oversight Committee
  • Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director, Fuse WA
  • Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
  • Lara Normand, Member, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Keith Weir, Assistant Executive Secretary, Seattle Building Trades
  • Genesee Adkins, Government Relations Director, King County Executive’s Office
  • Joe Vinson, SDOT employee
  • Jennifer Wieland, SDOT employee
  • Shiv Batra, Transportation Engineer