King County executive appoints emergency management director

August 29, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed local crisis manager Walt Hubbard to lead the county Office of Emergency Management.

Hubbard served as acting director at the agency for the past several months, since former Director Hillman Mitchell departed for a private sector job. Officials selected Hubbard after a nationwide search, and Constantine announced the appointment Tuesday.

“Walt brings a wealth of experience and strong local relationships that will help us protect residents and businesses in the event of disaster,” he said in a statement.

King County faces risks from earthquakes, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions and numerous other threats, both natural and manmade.

“We face unique hazards in our region, and I am looking forward to advancing our regional capability to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all types,” Hubbard said in a statement. “One of my priorities will be to strengthen collaboration and communication with our city, state, tribal and federal partners, as well as with the private sector.”

Hubbard previously served as emergency preparedness manager for the county Department of Transportation, and worked to improve the agency’s all-hazards response. In municipal government, he served as a special assistant for public safety to then-Seattle Mayor Paul Schell. In Seattle, Hubbard participated in the response to the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the last major temblor to hit the Puget Sound region.

Hubbard also led Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, a nonprofit clinic in Seattle’s Central District.

“Walt has proven himself to be an insightful, team-oriented leader,” Caroline Whalen, county Department of Executive Services director, said in a statement. “I’m happy to have him on board as we move toward another winter storm season.”

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