The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) recently announced the hire of Mary Mitchell as director of its Aging and Disability Services (ADS) division. Mary has served in an interim capacity for the past year (see “Mary Mitchell: Steeped in Race and Social Justice” in the June 2021 issue of AgeWise King County). Her permanent hire was the result of a competitive hiring process, with significant community input.
Mary has over 30 years of experience in organizational development, conflict resolution, and race and social justice work. She is a certified mediator.
Prior to joining HSD as ADS interim division director, Mary served as the director and deputy director of the Consumer Protection Division of the Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services, where she was instrumental in starting the Racial Equity Toolkit to examine developing a Marijuana Equity Program to increase diversity in the newly regulated industry. Mary began her career in the Seattle Police Department (SPD), where she served as an SPD Change Team co-lead (a component of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative) and a discussion facilitator of the Race the Power of an Illusion course.
“I’m pleased to announce that after a competitive hiring process, Mary emerged as the most qualified person for the job,” said Tanya Kim, Acting Director of Seattle Human Services. “I trust that she’ll continue to make a difference for our community.”
HSD ADS is designated by the State of Washington as the Area Agency on Aging for King County. As such, it receives federal and state funds for planning and the delivery of supportive home and community-based services throughout Seattle and King County. HSD ADS provides direct services and also subcontracts with more than 80 agencies to provide a network of in-home and community services, support programs, and assistance to older people, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. Currently, the agency is serving more than 51,000 people each year (an unduplicated count).
“Directing HSD ADS during the pandemic helped me see true staff dedication and determination in meeting client and community needs,” said Mary. “I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Seattle Human Services is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net. The department invests hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to more than 200 community-based organizations and programs that support strong and healthy communities. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/humanservices.
The department’s Aging and Disability Services division, as the Area Agency on Aging for King County, maintains a separate website at www.agingkingcounty.org.