NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The Metropolitan King County Council confirmed Anita Khandelwal as the King County Public Defender and Director of the Public Defense on Nov. 5.
She had been serving as the interim director since the summer.
Khandelwal joined the department in 2015 and prior to being named interim director this summer, she served as the Department’s Deputy Director of Law and Policy. A graduate of Yale Law School, Khandelwal has worked as a public defender on a state and federal level for a decade.
Councilmember Rod Dembowski called Khandelwal “a powerful voice for the disenfranchised, ensuring their constitutional rights are protected.”
Khandelwal will direct an agency of more than 400 employees, including 225 attorneys, working in locations in both Seattle and Kent.
“I believe deeply in our mission, I hold the staff in high regard, and I have profound respect for the community of partners who are working with us to improve the criminal legal system. I look forward to what we’re able to achieve, on behalf of our clients and the broader community, over the next four years,” said Khandelwal.
The Department of Public Defense provides legal advocacy to people who cannot afford an attorney and are facing either criminal charges or certain other legal matters, such as juvenile dependency, civil commitment, or civil contempt proceedings.