Gov. Inslee names new executive director for Puget Sound Partnership

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Today Gov. Jay Inslee announced his appointment of Sheida R. Sahandy as the new Executive Director for the Puget Sound Partnership, the agency formed by the state Legislature to lead the recovery of the Puget Sound. Sahandy has worked for the City of Bellevue since 2006, where she has served as the Assistant to City Manager. Her appointment is effective February 4.

“I am very excited that Sheida Sahandy will be leading this effort. She has a record of taking on complex challenges and moving the needle in the right direction,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “From her years as a corporate attorney, to leading Bellevue’s rise as an innovator and leader in environmental and social responsibility, Sheida has demonstrated the ability to bring private and public interests together toward a common mission. She knows how to work successfully across sectors, across jurisdictions, and across diverse subject matter areas to achieve measurable results. She is the person we need at the helm of the Puget Sound Partnership.”

As the Partnership’s new Executive Director, the Governor is looking for Sahandy to focus the work of the Partnership on the most critical and effective projects, work with other state agencies and partners to maximize alignment of efforts, and increase public engagement in Puget Sound recovery.

“We need to ensure that people appreciate the truly critical role the Puget Sound plays in every aspect of our lives – economy, ecology, and why we call this area home,” said Inslee. “I want my grandkids and their grandkids to be able to play safely in the Puget Sound, to fish for salmon they can eat, to dig for clams and oysters they can cook over a campfire. To make that happen, we need to accelerate the work being done right now.”

Sahandy has led strategic initiatives for the City of Bellevue, and was responsible for creating the City’s first city-wide environmental stewardship initiative. “The Puget Sound is a national treasure and the Governor has made it clear that Puget Sound recovery is one of his top environmental priorities,” said Sahandy. “We are facing increasingly pressing issues, such as the viability of our shellfish industry, as well as the foundational goal of ensuring we create a sustainable environment in this state that is the bedrock of a sustainable economy – the need for action has never been more compelling or urgent.”

Sahandy earned her Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she concentrated her studies on climate, energy and environment. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University’s School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied environmental design and the biological sciences.

About the Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the backbone organization leading the recovery of Puget Sound. The Partnership coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists, businesses and nonprofits to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan and ensure accountability for results.

Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office