Department Leadership Team
Caroline Whalen is the director of the Department of Executive Services, overseeing nine divisions and offices. Caroline also serves as Chief Administrative Officer. In this role, she advises the County Executive on the administrative ramifications of policy decisions. Caroline has worked for King County since 1994 as an analyst and manager in both the executive and legislative branches. In her time at King County, Caroline has managed a number of complex projects and initiatives, including the transformation of the County's finance, human resources, and budgeting business environment and systems.
Health reform has been a focus of Caroline's work since 2003. She was lead staff for the task force that led to the formation of the Washington Health Alliance. Caroline was also a principal member of the team that developed the Healthy Incentives program, which won an Innovations in American Government Award from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Tom Koney is the deputy director of the Department of Executive Services. He is currently serving an integral role in the E-911 Strategic Plan development and leading budget efforts on behalf of the department. Prior to arriving at DES, Tom was the deputy director of King County Parks. He has also worked as a legislative analyst at the King County Council, a growth management planner, and budget analyst.
Tom has a master's degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University. He began his career as a hotel/restaurant manager and was also a commercial real estate appraiser before coming to King County.
Danielle Lucero is the business and finance administrator for the Department of Executive Services. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight of financial and business management activities for the department. She coordinates with department staff in the preparation, review, and monitoring of the budget. Danielle is also responsible for coordinating the review of county and state legislation for DES.
Danielle has been with King County for 18 years. Prior to joining the DES Director's Office, she spent 17 years in various administrative, supervisory, and customer service positions with the Facilities Management Division.
Cecelia Hayes is the equity and engagement manager for the Department of Executive Services. In this role, she assists department leaders in translating business strategy and objectives into attainable goals and plans that are aligned with King County's goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
A transplant to Seattle from Chicago, Cecelia's educational training includes a master's degree in interdisciplinary arts education with a concentration in multicultural education and curriculum development. She has also earned a Ph.D. candidacy in performance studies with emphasis on race, gender, and culture at Northwestern University.
Her more than 25 years of professional experiences run the gamut of organizing, program management, curriculum development, and teacher mentoring with a variety of organizations. Cecelia served as a member of the full-time teaching faculty at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and was chosen as the Phyllis Mayo Memorial Fellow for the Seattle chapter of Leadership Tomorrow, a nationally recognized civic engagement program.
Julie Long is the executive assistant to the director and deputy director of the Department of Executive Services. In her role, Julie provides administrative and project management support for the office. Julie came to DES from King County International Airport/Boeing Field, where her primary responsibility was supporting the director and deputy director along with supervising administrative staff.
Julie is originally from southern California where she worked as a project coordinator in the construction industry. She has an associate's degree in English and 20 years experience providing office management, project coordination, and administrative support. Julie loves the tech side as well and, by utilizing the King County training program, is Microsoft certified in PowerPoint and Word.
Shawn Abernethy is the human resources manager for the Department of Executive Services. She is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the department in developing and maintaining a highly-skilled, diverse, and engaged workforce. Shawn enjoys working with employees at all levels to help them achieve their goals, and is passionate about equity and social justice. She has been with King County since 2014.
Shawn is a dedicated public servant and has previously worked in a variety of human resources roles for Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. She received her Master of Organizational Psychology degree from Antioch University Seattle, and her bachelor's degree from the Evergreen State College.
Robert James is the senior Human Resources business partner for the Department of Executive Services. Since 2015, he has served as the lead representative and strategic business partner for the HR Shared Services work unit. He has been instrumental consolidating and delivering daily HR services for four divisions and offices within DES. Robert also serves as the executive-level recruiter for the department. Robert has been with King County for 13 years in a variety of roles, beginning in Metro Transit as a technical information processing specialist and progressing though various HR roles prior to joining the DES Director's Office.
Robert is a dedicated public servant and known throughout King County as an HR practitioner who sees the big picture, thinks outside of the box, and has a thoughtful approach to HR service delivery. Robert loves to travel and has many stories and experiences about his adventures around the country and world. His travels and life story inform his worldview and his work here at King County. Robert received a bachelor’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University.
Sharon Gadzik is a human resource associate for shared services in the Department of Executive Services. In her role, Sharon works closely with DES Administration, the Business Resource Center, Risk Management and Compliance, Emergency Management, and Alternative Dispute Resolution in support of recruitment and personnel management.
Prior to her DES assignment, Sharon spent seven years in the director's office of Public Health - Seattle & King County where she supported that department's chief administrative officer and chief of staff. Sharon spent much of her early career as a graphic artist in the print industry, and also functioned as the staff development coordinator for the Issaquah School District.
A trained vocalist, Sharon spends her off time with family and friends, hiking, and singing.
Cameron Satterfield is the communications manager for the Department of Executive Services, handling media relations and social media for a diverse array of agencies ranging from animal control to facilities management. He also provides strategic direction and coaching for the department's communications team, and directs internal communications for DES.
Prior to joining King County in 2011, Cameron spent four years as a public information officer for St. Charles County Government in Missouri. He also has more than 15 years of experience in television news and video production.
A Midwest native, Cameron holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Nebraska, and has extensive training in emergency management and crisis communications through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Puget Sound chapter, the Government Social Media Organization (GSMO), and the Washington Emergency Public Information Network (WEPIN).