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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive appoints Caroline Whalen to head Department of Executive Services

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine today appointed Caroline Whalen, a veteran manager and administrator, as Director of the King County Department of Executive Services.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today appointed Caroline Whalen, a veteran manager and administrator, as Director of the King County Department of Executive Services.

"Caroline has taken on some of the biggest projects in County government - including employee health reform and continuity of operations during emergency events - and shown she has the high level of expertise and experience that I need to implement our reforms of County government," said Executive Constantine. "She's a proven leader with a track record of accomplishments that have greatly benefitted the citizens of King County."

The Department of Executive Services (DES) provides nearly all internal services to King County government and a variety of public services, including Records and Licensing Services, Facilities Management, Finance and Business Operations, Human Resources, the Board of Ethics, and the offices of Civil Rights, Emergency Management, and Risk Management.

As the Director of DES, Whalen serves as County Administrative Officer, a position designated in the King County Charter with responsibility for the general administration of County government.

Whalen was a key member of the County team that negotiated a new approach to health benefits that is projected to save taxpayers $37 million over the next three years. She also spearheaded development of solutions to employee health care cost and quality issues that led to the formation of the Puget Sound Health Alliance and the County's highly regarded Healthy Incentives program.

Whalen has been a Program Project Director with DES since 2007, most recently leading the countywide effort known as the Accountable Business Transformation (ABT) Program, to streamline business processes for financial, human resource, payroll, benefit and budget operations.

Whalen has also served as Deputy Director of the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services and as a legislative analyst for the King County Council.

"It is gratifying to appoint a highly qualified person from within our ranks to tackle this important job," said Executive Constantine. "Caroline is dedicated to getting the job done, and she represents the high caliber of talent we have in our workforce."

Whalen begins her new duties on Feb.16. Her appointment must be confirmed by the King County Council.

Whalen succeeds Bob Cowan, the former longtime Director of the King County Office of Management and Budget. Cowan has agreed to delay his planned retirement to serve Whalen as a senior adviser with a focus on the ABT Program.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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