Kirkland announces Kathy Brown as City’s new Public Works Director

The City of Kirkland announces that Kathy Brown will begin on October 6, 2014 as the City’s new Public Works Director.  Since 2003, Brown has served as the Facilities Management Division Director for King County and has been responsible for managing the County’s real estate, capital improvements, and the operations and maintenance of a variety of buildings throughout King County.  As Kirkland’s Public Works Director, she will be responsible for the operations, budget, and programming for the 108 employees of the Capital Projects, Development and Environmental Services, Transportation Engineering, Internal Services, Water, Streets and Public Grounds, and Surface and Wastewater Divisions.  


“Kirkland is fortunate to have a Public Works Director of Kathy’s caliber,” notes City Manager Kurt Triplett.  “She is one of the top talents in the region and her extensive work history with King County will make her an outstanding Director serving the Public Works needs of Kirkland residents and businesses.  She is an experienced manager with a strong background in operations, maintenance, planning, project management, environmental protection, and internal service rate development.”


Priority city projects for Brown will be the Transportation Master Plan, Surface Water Master Plan, NE 85th Street Corridor Improvement Project, development of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, and continued implementation of pedestrian and bicycle safety projects throughout the City.


Brown started with King County in the early 1980’s to help establish the County’s first Surface Water Management (SWM) Utility.  She analyzed and recommended the policies, programs and funding structure for what is today’s King County Water and Land Resources Division.


After successfully launching the SWM Utility, Brown moved on to a 20-year career in the King County Road Services Division.  She led the team that created King County’s first Maintenance Management System, establishing performance standards, service levels, and processes to monitor and manage road maintenance work for over 2,100 miles of suburban and rural roadways in King County, including those in the Juanita, Finn Hill and Kingsgate neighborhoods prior to the 2011 annexation into Kirkland.


As Facilities Management Division Director, Brown successfully delivered over a billion dollars in construction development including several new high-rise office buildings, medical facilities on the Harborview Hospital campus, the seismic retrofit of the King County Courthouse, the County’s new Elections Center and a new data center.  She was responsible for the County’s entire real estate portfolio, consisting of several thousands of properties, and negotiated hundreds of real estate transactions, including acquisitions, leases, sales, and property use agreements.


Brown grew up in Kirkland’s Finn Hill neighborhood and graduated from Juanita High School.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Germanics. She lives in Sammamish, WA with her family. 


Marilynne Beard, Deputy City Manager has served as the City’s Interim Public Works Director.