Leadership

Our Director

Tanya KimAs the Director of the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), Tanya Kim leads ~400 staff who make HSD's role as a funder, convener, and direct services provider possible.

Tanya has been a bold champion for Seattle youth and their families for nearly three decades. In 2021, Tanya was appointed as Acting Director of the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD); and later confirmed by City Council in 2023.

As a funder, HSD administers hundreds of contracts for human services. Tanya is responsible for stewarding the City’s $300+ million of safety net investments to communities in need with an emphasis on BIPOC populations. Prior to her appointment, she served as Deputy Director and in multiple leadership roles in both the Department and for Seattle City Council.

Before joining the City of Seattle, she worked at community-based organizations in both direct service and executive-level positions. Outside of work she’s served on numerous boards and loves to spend time with her partner, adult children, and new puppy.

Our Leadership Team

Anne Lee

HeadshotBefore joining Seattle Human Services, Anne served for 20 years as the Executive Director of TeamChild, a nationally acclaimed nonprofit law firm for youth in Washington State. She brings a deep commitment and experience grounded in social justice, anti-racism, and the power of authentic relationships that can bridge and bring together profound and lasting individual, organizational, and system transformation. In addition to her substantive expertise in youth law and policy, Annie has decades of hands-on experience in nonprofit management, board development, program design and evaluation, human resources, finance, and planning and implementing strategic growth and impact.

After building an education, youth law, and public benefits practice at Evergreen Legal Services and Northwest Justice Project, Anne joined TeamChild at its inception, first as a consultant and then as a staff attorney, building a hybrid, holistic legal practice model for children entangled in juvenile court. TeamChild’s clients are generally 12-24 years old, living lives entwined in multiple systems – juvenile justice, child welfare, behavioral health, and all facing tremendous barriers to getting what they need. As part of her work there, she was able to advocate for youth-driven and community-based solutions that addressed the health, housing, education and employment needs of children and their families.

Anne has been called to serve on numerous boards and commissions over the years, including the Department of Children, Youth and Families’ Oversight Board and the WA Supreme Court’s Minority and Justice Commission, with a leadership role as Chair of its Juvenile Justice Committee. Through these experiences and many others, she has appreciated and engendered the collaboration, consensus building, and accountability that Anne believes are necessary for impactful governance and policy development.

Chris Klaeysen

 Chris KlaeysenChris Klaeysen brings over a decade of experience in various public policy roles. He leads planning and policy development initiatives for homelessness while also managing HSD’s partnership with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. Prior to joining HSD, Chris spent nearly six years at the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), where he served as Strategic Advisor for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and as a Senior Policy Analyst in its Policy Department. During his time at SHA, Chris grew the voucher department’s housing search team, which contributed to one of the nation’s most successful emergency housing voucher programs.

Originally from New York, Chris also served as a Senior Budget and Policy Analyst for the New York State Senate and spearheaded issues related to paid family leave, gun safety, minimum wage, and more. Outside of work, Chris lives with his wife and two children in Seattle and enjoys running, soccer, and home improvement projects.

Natalie Thomson

Natalie Thomson Natalie Thomson has been with HSD for over 15 years. She came from the private sector, and has business administration, education, and child and family studies degrees. What motivates Natalie is a strong belief in HSD's mission and the amazing people with whom she works. Natalie draws from her experience as a teacher, restauranteur, youth worker, and consultant, as well as life experience as a participant in several of human service supported programs. She loves young people, the ocean, and spending time with family and friends.

Dee Dhlamini

HeadshotDee is a seasoned public sector financial services leader with almost 20 years’ experience managing complex initiatives with multiple stakeholders. She is problem-solver, with high EQ and analytical capabilities. Dee has earned a reputation for breaking down silos, partnering with others to maximize impact in highly unionized and matrixed organizations.

In 2020 she was asked to step in as the lead financial strategist for Public Health’s $300M Covid response funding. She designed and implemented end-to-end fiscal and administrative processes and provided strategy, risk analysis, and mitigation for department-wide covid response tactical operations ramp up and demobilization. She was later promoted to Interim CFO.

A trusted advisor to department executive leadership and stakeholders, Dee has led strategic continuous improvement initiatives to strengthen Public Health’s financial management in a department with a complex $1.1B operating budget and a highly decentralized matrixed administrative structure. She has consistently demonstrated a focus on results through setting performance standards, strengthening financial reporting transparency, internal controls, and transactional efficiencies.

During her tenure with King County, she served as the deputy director in the Environmental Health Services division, and prior to joining King County she served as the strategic advisor to the Seattle Public Utilities, Customer Services division. She is an experienced strategist in mobilizing broad-based initiatives like the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice and King County’s Equity and Social Justice Initiatives to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in local government service delivery. She also has strong, established and trusting relationships with local grass-roots community-based organizations in the immigrant and refugee communities. 

Dee balances visionary strategic thinking with the reality of “those who are working in the trenches” to get the job done. She holds a Lean 6-Sigma Green belt, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Washington and is a candidate in the Executive master’s in public administration at the UW Evans School of Public Policy.

Terry McLellan

HeadshotTerry uses a results-based and human-centered approach to lead innovative teams in Human Resources. With over 20 years of HR leadership experience with various organizations, she has been credited for her ability to develop skilled HR teams and implement meaningful employment programs that support employee growth, promote organizational success and advance equity.

Terry holds a BA in Mathematics, minoring in Psychology and Computer/Computational Modeling. Prior to her career in HR, she worked in Hawaii with Malama Na Wahine Hapai—research on a community-based approach to prenatal and postpartum care. Research, data analytics, and cultural relevancy are all embedded in Terry’s foundation as a leader.

Kamaria Hightower

Kamaria HightowerKamaria Hightower is an exceptional leader with a distinguished career whose commitment to advancing racial and social equity is unwavering. With a keen focus on effective communication, she excels in conveying complex information to diverse audiences using various platforms.

During her time at the City's Department of Education and Early Learning, she spearheaded impactful communication strategies for the $619 million Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy investments. Her accomplishments included increased earned media coverage and conceptualizing messaging for a $4.5 million student mental health initiative, garnering positive media attention.

As Deputy Communications Director in the Office of the Mayor, Kamaria expertly handled crisis communications during unprecedented times, such as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She provided invaluable counsel to top officials and improved messaging alignment across city departments, ensuring that policy goals, including housing initiatives and community investments, were effectively communicated to the public.

Kamaria's career includes work as the Communications Director at MLK Labor, AFL-CIO, and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, where she designed and executed strategies for social networking, media, and member organizing. Her reputation as a respected and effective professional is a testament to her ability to drive change and enhance the community's well-being.

Mary Mitchell

Mary MitchellMary was born in Seattle, daughter to a US Army Veteran, and graduated from Garfield High School. As 30-year veteran working in the service of others, Mary started her career in civil service in the Seattle Police Department as an Administrative Specialist on the auto records team. In addition to serving in the Seattle Police Department as an Administrative Specialist on the auto records team, Mary also co-chaired the race and social justice change team and facilitated focus groups for the Citizen’s Academy and Race the Power of an Illusion.

Mary is an experienced professional in organizational development, conflict resolution, and racial and social justice.  During her 11 years in Parking Enforcement, she served on SPD’s Change Team as co-lead, facilitator of Race the Power of an Illusion, Core 4-member, certified mediator with the Inter-Local Conflict Resolution Group.

Mary then served as the Deputy Director of Consumer Protection Division of the Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administration Services, where she was instrumental in creating the Racial Equity Toolkit to explore the development of the Marijuana Equity Program to increase diversity in the newly regulated industry.

After 23-years with the Seattle Police Department, Mary brought leadership and stability to Aging and Disability Services as the Director of the largest Area Agency on Aging in Washington State, serving a quarter of our state’s population under Older Americans Act programs.

Mary eagerly participated in the 2022 USAging Policy Briefing and has already established important and meaningful relationships with policy makers and legislators at local, state, and national levels. Mary is excited to continue her journey leading Aging and Disability Services and making a difference for our community.

Mary is a native daughter of Seattle, is an alumnus of Garfield High School, and is honored to be able to use her kind-heartedness towards working for the City of Seattle. When she is not in the office, Mary enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, “Lady Bug”, or racing around town on her motorcycle, Big Blue!

Erika Pablo

Erika PabloErika is honored to serve with the Safe and Thriving Communities Division. She joins HSD after serving as the Interim Policy Director and RSJI Manager with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR). Recently at SOCR, Erika helped to lead the passage of the Race and Social Justice Ordinance, after over a 20 year-long effort.

Prior to that, Erika served as the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Manager with the King County Natural Resources and Parks Department. During her time, she launched a $150,000 Community Compensation Project, secured funding for and recruited two Program Managers for Capital Projects, and led the Division’s commitment to invest up to 1% of half a billion dollars in the community through Capital Improvement Projects.

Prior to King County, Erika worked at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights for over 6 years. At SOCR, she provided advocacy and strategic support for issues related to civil rights, housing access, equitable funding, criminal legal system, anti-displacement, and workforce equity. Erika was the lead policy advisor for the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, one of the first policies of its kind providing protections for individuals living with criminal history. She also co-led the Collaborative Grantmaking process, which distributed $1 million to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities to explore alternatives to incarceration and policing.

Erika identifies as Black and Dutch-Indonesian. She was born and raised in Tacoma and currently resides at her home in West Seattle with her husband and two young kids. She enjoys visits to the beach, all things personal finance, and fantasy football.

Shukri Olow

Shukri OlowDr. Shukri Olow is honored to be supporting HSD's Youth and Family Empowerment Division, a division that is investing in upstream solutions and aimed at preventing the harm experienced by many in our community. She brings over 16 years of servant leadership and commitment to children and families across our region.

Previously, Shukri worked for King County with the Best Starts for Kids Initiative, a voter-approved initiative to support every baby born in King County. She also led the Youth Development Strategy, a strategy supporting 32 youth-serving organizations. Shukri has served on several boards and organizations including Kent Youth and Family Services, Kent Rotary, Kent YMCA, and the Steering Committee for the Kent Education Levy in 2022. Shukri holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Learning from Seattle University. 

When she is not serving our beloved community, she can be found loving on her two children and traveling near and far.

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly PattersonKimberly is a dedicated administrative professional with almost a decade of experience in the public sector at the state and local levels. She enjoys reading and going on scenic walks with her pet Pomeranian named Franklin.

Human Services

Tanya Kim, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA, 98124-4215
Phone: (206) 386-1001
HSD_Info@seattle.gov

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The mission of the Seattle Human Services Department is to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work and take part in strong, healthy communities.

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