Northwest Asian Weekly
On the night of Jan. 3, Bellevue City Councilmembers unanimously voted for fellow Councilmember and Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee to serve as the city’s mayor. Lee is the first person of color to serve as mayor of Bellevue. Lee was also the first person of color on the city council, when he joined in 1994.
Lee came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1958 to attend college. He has lived in Bellevue for more than 40 years.
“I’m grateful to the people of Bellevue and I am honored to be entrusted by my fellow councilmembers to be mayor,” Lee said in a release from the City of Bellevue. “Bellevue is a wonderful place with wonderful people. It’s one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the state and I am proud to represent and lead it.
According to the release, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington. Previous jobs include regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, engineer at Boeing, and Seattle Solid Waste division project manager.
Bellevue’s seven councilmembers are elected at large and serve four-year staggered terms. They choose a fellow councilmember as mayor for a two-year term.
The mayor presides over council meetings and study sessions, helps set the meeting agendas, represents the city at public events, and acts as the primary spokesperson for the council. The council is responsible for approving the city budget and setting policies. Bellevue’s city manager implements the policies and oversees the city’s day-to-day operations.
Lee and his wife, Winnie, have two adult children, a son, and a daughter. (end)