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Ben Noble appointed Director of the new Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts

SEATTLE  The City’s Economic and Revenue Forecasts Council has announced that Dr. Ben Noble has been appointed as the inaugural director of Seattle’s new Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts (OERF). 

Noble has a proven track record of revenue forecasting and fiscal and policy analysis in the public sector. He has worked for the City of Seattle for more than 20 years, serving the last eight as Director of the City Budget Office and, before that, as Director of the City Council’s Central Staff.  

The OERF was created in July 2021 via Council Bill 120124 which was sponsored by Council President Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) and Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide). The OERF Director will report to the Economic and Revenue Forecasts Council, a four-member, inter-branch oversight body currently comprised of Mayor Jenny Durkan, Council President González, Budget Chair Mosqueda and City Finance Director Glen Lee.  

“I look forward to continuing my work for the City of Seattle in this new critical role. It is clear the pandemic will have lasting impacts on our local economy and City revenues. I am prepared for the challenge of leading this new office in providing a careful assessment of these ongoing impacts and their implications for the resources available to the City,” Noble said.  

“I am thrilled that the City of Seattle will have an opportunity to retain the talent and skills of Dr. Noble as the inaugural Director of the Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts. I have complete confidence in his ability to succeed in this critical and independent role. Given his technical expertise and deep understanding of the City of Seattle’s financial systems, Dr. Noble is well-positioned to immediately stand up the new OERF and lead it in further refining the scope of its potential work while fulfilling its mission to provide robust, independent and transparent fiscal analysis for the City of Seattle,” said Council President González. 

“Launching an independent Office of Economic Revenue and Forecasts is a step towards increased transparency, decision-making, and accountability. Director Noble brings decades of experience in both the Legislative and Executive branches with direct experience in budgeting and management. I’m delighted to work with Director Noble in his new position as he helps lead Seattle through new changes in elected leadership, a new office, and a new chapter of recovery,” said Councilmember Mosqueda. 

“After his leadership during Seattle’s hardest economic crisis, Dr. Noble’s appointment into this newly created role is the right decision to help continue to guide Seattle through COVID-19 and recovery. With his experiencing overseeing the City Budget Office and more than 20 years in city government, Ben has the deep experience and integrity to lead this office,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. 

About the Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts 

Economic and revenue forecasting is a crucial part of the Mayor and City Council’s budgeting process each year. In the past, the City’s budget process has utilized a forecasting team that is housed in the Executive branch’s City Budget Office. The newly created OERF will function as a more robust, transparent and independent forecasting unit jointly overseen by both the City Council and Mayor. The OERF will give elected officials and the public greater access to the data and analysis that underpins the City’s economic forecasts and budget process. 

The OERF was initially proposed in fall 2020 via an amendment by Council President González to the 2021 Adopted Budget. The OERF will bring Seattle’s budgeting process in line with the best practices already being used by peer government agencies, including King County and Washington State.  

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