Leadership transitions at King County 

Executive Constantine and his Senior Leadership Team have recently announced a number of leadership changes at King County departments:

Earlier today Executive Constantine announced his appointment of Anita Khandelwal as Director of the King County Department of Public Defense. Khandelwal’s appointment is subject to Council approval. Anita has served as the DPD Interim Director since July. Prior to that she served as the department’s Deputy Director of Law and Policy. She joined DPD in November 2015 and has been practicing law for more than a decade.


Yesterday Executive Constantine appointed John Taylor as the first director of the new Department of Local Services (DLS). His appointment is subject to Council approval. John will provide the leadership of this new department which will focus on deliver outstanding service to the quarter-million people of unincorporated King County. Taylor currently serves as an assistant division director at the King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks.


Brenda Bauer was appointed Deputy Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Casey Sixkiller. Bauer, who was director of the Roads Services Division at the King County Department of Transportation, will immediately serve as interim director of the Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention to support DAJD’s leadership transition.

Willie Hayes, the director of the Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention, announced his December 1 retirement after 34 years of service. Hayes is an example of an employee who worked his way up through the ranks, and his leadership will be missed. A recruitment for the new director is currently underway.


Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi announced last week that he will be leaving King County at the end of the year after 35 years of service. Taniguchi has been instrumental in leading the effort to create a Department of Local Services and helping to secure Council approval for the new department. Like Willie Hayes, Taniguchi worked his way through the ranks at King County, starting his career as an intern, and eventually rising to the position of department director.

Community and Human Services Director Adrienne Quinn will be leaving the County on November 30 for an appointment as Distinguished Practitioner at the University of Washington’s Evans School. She will help develop the next generation of local leaders in public policy after a very successful launch of the County’s Best Start for Kids program and developing new approaches to the delivery of effective human services.

Congratulations and thank you to all of these leaders for their service to the people of King County.

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