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Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Its seven members are leading citizens chosen from around the Sound and appointed by the governor. Gov. Chris Gregoire named Bill Ruckelshaus the first chair. Founding members will serve terms of different lengths. Successors to the original council will each serve four-year terms.

Washington state has over 200 boards and commissions to which the Governor appoints citizen members. Appointees are responsible for advising the Governor, the legislature, and state agencies. For more information on board and commission appointments visit

For questions about the Partnership's Councils, Boards and Panels contact :
Dominique Hampton, Special Assistant, 360.628.2423

Chair: Martha Kongsgaard
Four-year term, ends June 25, 2014
Martha Kongsgaard was born and raised in Napa, Calif., to a family of jurists, grape growers and cattle ranchers. Kongsgaard married Peter Goldman in 1988 and collaborated with him to found the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation. The foundation gives grants to a variety of nonprofit environmental, social justice and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, many of which affect Puget Sound. Her community activities include participation on the national board and the executive committees of Earthjustice, Islandwood, the Future of the Law Institute and Friends of the Methow. She chairs several major capital campaigns, including the Cascade Agenda, the expansion of Islandwood and the building of the LEED-certified Community Center at the New High Point. Kongsgaard has served as the president of Philanthropy Northwest and has spoken broadly about philanthropy and the environmental movement to wide and diverse audiences for the past 20 years.

Vice Chair: Ron Sims
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2014
Biography: After time in Washington DC as the Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, native Washingtonian Sims has returned to the Puget Sound. Born in Spokane, Washington, he graduated from Lewis and Clark High School and attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where he earned a B.A. in psychology. Between graduation and his election to the King County Council, he worked in the office of the Washington State Attorney General, for the Federal Trade Commission, for the juvenile offenders program of the city of Seattle, and as an aide in the state senate. He is an ordained Baptist minister. As King County Executive, Sims was the charter chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board and helped with the development of the 2008 Action Agenda.

Member: Billy Frank, Jr.
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2015
Biography: Billy Frank. Jr. of the Nisqually Indian Tribe has been chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 30 years. In this capacity, he "speaks for the salmon" on behalf of 20 Treaty Indian Tribes in western Washington. Under his leadership, tribes have successfully reasserted their traditional role as natural resource managers and secured other rights protected by treaties with the United States government. He has been celebrated regionally, nationally and internationally as an outstanding Native American leader and has been the recipient of numerous recognition awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Indian Country Today Inaugural American Visionary Award

Member: Diana Gale
Four-year term, ends June 25, 2015
Diana Gale is currently the chair of the Washington Public Works Board, which biennially awards over $300 million in loans to local governments for infrastructure upgrades and repair. Gale is a senior lecturer at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She is the former managing director of Seattle Public Utilities, the City of Seattle Office of Management and Budget and superintendent of the Seattle Water Department. She has been on the board of the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Long Live the Kings, the National Water Research Institute, the American Municipal Water Association and the International Water Management Council.

Member: Steve Sakuma
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2013
Biography: Steve Sakuma was raised on the family farm with operations in Washington and California. Sakuma is CEO of Sakuma Bros. Holding Co., a family-owned farming operation consisting of Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., Norcal Nursery, Inc. and Sakuma Bros. Processing, Inc. He is a retired US Army colonel and has 26 years of military experience. He has years of involvement with Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, having served as a member of the board and as president. He is a board member of the Western Washington Agricultural Association and a Commissioner in Drainage and Irrigation District #14.

Member: Jay Manning
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2017
Biography: Jay has been working on restoring Puget Sound for most of his career. Jay, currently a partner with Cascadia Law Group, spent many years working for the State of Washington, first in the Ecology Division of the Washington Attorney General’s Office and later as Director of the Department of Ecology. During his time at Ecology, Jay made Puget Sound restoration one of the agency’s highest priorities. Gov. Gregoire also appointed Jay to co-chair, with Bill Ruckelshause and Billy Frank Jr., of the original Puget Sound Partnership – the stakeholder group that recommended the creation of the Partnership as a state agency. Later, as Chief of Staff for Gov. Gregoire’s administration, Jay worked hard to maintain the administration’s focus on Puget Sound as the state went through the recession. Jay has a degree in political science from Eastern Washington University and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon.

Member: Stephanie Solien
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2017
Biography: Stephanie has been director of the bi-partisan Women’s Campaign Fund and worked as staff in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. She also ran the D.C. office for Gov. Booth Gardner. Stephanie served as national political director for the Bill Clinton Presidential campaign in 1992 and was a lead strategist of President Clinton’s successful 1993 Pacific Northwest Forest Summit in Portland, Ore. In the Clinton Administration she served as Assistant to Secretary Bruce Babbit for Intergovenmental and Congressional Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. She also served as chair of the Washington Conservation Voters from 1998-2001.In 2011, Stephanie consulted with Climate Solutions and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce on creating jobs in the energy efficiency sector and served as Environmental Co-Chair of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Conference. Stephanie has a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and her Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

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