Chief of Staff

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Administration / Clerical
Posted on November 19, 2021
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King County, Washington is searching for a senior executive leader to serve as its next Chief of Staff (COS). The Chief of Staff is an at-will, exempt position, directly appointed by the Metropolitan King County Council.  As the senior executive leader for the Central Staff, the Chief of Staff reports to the Council chair on a day-to-day basis, and is also responsive to the needs and priorities of all nine Councilmembers with routine interactions with other leaders within the Executive branch and externally.  

COS leads Council central staff by managing and coordinating the activities and services that support the Council.   The services provided by Central staff include policy analysis, administrative operations, equity & social justice development, government relations, municipal relations, the Council clerk’s office, and communications (including King County Television).  

This role is regularly required to solve complex issues having far-reaching impact on, and consequences for King County and directs and coordinates the activities of the central staff to ensure that they objectively serve the Council.  Other key responsibilities include monitoring and supporting the activities of the five independent agencies:  King County Auditor’s Office,  Board of Appeals and Equalization, Hearing Examiner, Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, and Ombuds Office.  

The Chief of Staff oversees 56 staff and an annual budget of approximately $12.4 million.

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. As Chief of Staff, you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work.  We are looking for candidates with at least eight years of experience in the following areas:

  • Public policy or a related field
  • Legislative environment
  • Interacting with elected officials
  • Intergovernmental affairs
  • Leading a complex organization
  • Advancing equity and inclusion goals
  • Supervisory experience

The most competitive candidates may have a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Political Science, Business OR any equivalent combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the desired skills, knowledge, and ability required to perform the work may substitute for three years of experience in the areas listed above.   

All Legislative Branch staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination to Council HR staff by December 2, 2021. The selected candidate will be required to submit proof of vaccination upon hire. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

The salary range is $166,236 to $223,568, depending upon qualifications. King County offers an excellent benefits package.

All interested candidates should apply by December 27, 2021, by submitting a compelling cover letter and comprehensive resume to For more information, view our detailed brochure (Download PDF reader).  Contact Mr. Greg Nelson at (916) 630-4900 if you would like to have a confidential discussion regarding this recruitment.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.