By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
This is how Brad Miyake described the frenetic, yet organized nature of Japan upon a visit as part of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation that visited the country this year. The trip allowed U.S. delegates such as Miyake to meet and confer with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, nonprofit, and cultural sectors. As the appointed city manager for the City of Bellevue, Miyake has great responsibility in overseeing the budgets, as well as other operational matters on behalf of the city.
Born and raised in Seattle, Miyake went to Franklin High School and the University of Washington. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and took a job with the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) upon graduation, where he worked on review of federal programs.
“It fascinated me,” said Miyake of working with the government. “My goal wasn’t to be in government, but I was very fortunate to get involved with the GAO.” After his stint with the GAO, he went on to work with King County before moving on with the City of Bellevue.
Bellevue operates under a “council-manager” form of government, where an elected city council appoints a city manager to run the business of the city. Miyake was appointed to the position of city manager last spring. As city manager, he works closely with the Bellevue City Council on various issues, including developing Bellevue’s budget for both day-to-day and capital projects. He was previously the deputy city manager and utilities director for the city. He had served in other capacities for the city having been promoted up to deputy city manager, before taking the city manager position.
The City of Bellevue employs approximately 1,200 people with a biennial budget of approximately $1.3 billion, which Miyake oversees. In his role, he provides input in all of city operations, including police, fire, development services, economic development, transportation and utilities.
“It’s an exciting place to be,” said Miyake of government work. Having worked in federal government, county government, and now with the city, he has found working with Bellevue the most fulfilling. “I feel closest to the constituents and can affect their quality of life.”
Miyake sees a bright future for the City of Bellevue as it continues to expand, especially in the downtown area. While he does note built-in challenges with the expansion of the city, he believes the growth is a good thing for Bellevue. He also identifies that in the wake of the economic downturn of previous years, the city’s budget had been cut. But, with the new growth within the city, there is potential to address those demands.
As part of being one of only 10 Japanese Americans chosen to participate in the Japanese American Leadership Delegation, Miyake was able to meet the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, in addition to other governmental officials. As it was Miyake’s first visit to Japan, it was a good experience for Miyake from a business and cultural perspective. “The food was outrageous,” Miyake said about the added bonus during his visit.
Miyake is married and has two daughters. In his off time, he is an avid bicyclist and hiker. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.