Mayor Ed Murray announced John Okamoto as the new acting Human Services Department (HSD) head on July 23.
Okamoto is replacing interim HSD director Catherine Lester. From 2008-2012, Okamoto served as the Executive Director of the Washington Education Association. He has held numerous leadership positions with Port of Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation among others. Okamoto started his public service career as a summer youth worker at HSD and is now coming full circle by becoming the acting director. Murray said he wants Okamoto to refine the focus of the department, strengthen partnerships and lay the foundation for change for the next permanent director. (end)