Winter Prep | Walt Hubbard named head of King County Office of Emergency Management

King County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed an experienced local crisis manager to lead the King County Office of Emergency Management. Walt Hubbard was selected through a highly-competitive nationwide search.

The mission of the King County Office of Emergency Management is to provide regional leadership and collaboration to improve the safety of residents in the county. The office specializes in preparation for, response to, and recovery from disasters such as winter storms, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. Many homeland security issues are also coordinated through the agency.

“Walt brings a wealth of experience and strong local relationships that will help us protect residents and businesses in the event of disaster,” said Executive Constantine.

“We face unique hazards in our region, and I am looking forward to advancing our regional capability to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all types,” said Hubbard. “One of my priorities will be to strengthen collaboration and communication with our city, state, tribal, and federal partners, as well as with the private sector.”

Hubbard, who has served as acting director of the agency for the past several months, grew up in the Seattle area and has a portfolio of public service that includes emergency preparedness manager for the King County Department of Transportation. While there, he worked to improve the department’s all-hazards response, with a special focus on Green River flooding, winter storms, and long-term recovery.

Hubbard also served as director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, where he honed community collaboration skills and his commitment to equity and social justice as an essential part of health care delivery to a diverse population. As special assistant for public safety to Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, Hubbard was directly involved in several emergency events – including the response to the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001 – forming strong relationships with police, fire, and first responders across the region.

“Walt has proven himself to be an insightful, team-oriented leader,” said Caroline Whalen, director of the Department of Executive Services, which oversees the Office of Emergency Management. “I’m happy to have him on board as we move toward another winter storm season.”

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