Herbold Celebrates the Confirmation of Tanya Kim as the Permanent Director of the Human Services Department

Seattle, WA – Councilmember Lisa Herbold (West Seattle and South Park) celebrated the Seattle City Council’s unanimous vote to recommend the appointment of Tanya Kim, who was the Acting Director of the Human Services Department, to the permanent position.   

This is an important appointment. The Human Services Department (HSD), which has been without a permanent director since 2018, is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net. HSD’s 400 employees invest hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to more than 200 community-based organizations and programs that support strong and healthy communities, promote innovation, and advance racial equity.  

“Acting Director Kim is familiar with the challenges and has already led the department through some of the most difficult days of the pandemic and the City,” said Councilmember Herbold. “She has worked for the Human Services department since 2010 and has been serving as acting director since September of 2021. I have found Director Kim to be a thoughtful and responsive partner, and I was pleased that she was willing to step up her commitment when asked to serve in the permanent role.” 

Clearly, HSD’s partners are also pleased she’s stepping into the permanent position. During public testimony, the Council heard a variety of positive descriptors of Acting Director Kim’s work so far:   

  • She has built stronger systems at HSD and helps organizations navigate those systems 
  • True ally 
  • Thoughtful partner 
  • Truly respects community-based partners 
  • Ready to roll up her sleeves; good communicator during times of crisis 
  • Leads with integrity, she creates space to have honest and sometimes difficult conversations 
  • Commitment to racial justice 

“I appreciate her willingness to continue leading as a confirmed Director of the Human Services Department,” concluded Herbold.