Gov. Jay Inslee today named Drew Shirk director of the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR), effective June 16. Acting director John Ryser, who has held the post since Vikki Smith left DOR last year, will continue to lead the agency until that time.
Shirk has served as the executive director for legislative affairs in the office of Governor Jay Inslee since 2017. As a member of the governor's senior leadership team, Shirk manages relationships with legislators and leadership on behalf of the governor. He also manages executive branch legislative proposals, mobilizing support for the governor's priorities in the Legislature and advising the governor on legislation. In that capacity, Shirk has helped to design and pass landmark policies in clean energy, gun violence prevention, education and abortion rights, among other areas.
“Drew has been an incredible advisor. His ability to bridge divides and bring legislators together has helped us accomplish big things for Washington," Inslee said. "I look forward to continuing to work with him while he oversees DOR and ensures that Washington’s tax policies benefit hardworking people and drive investment in our economy. I also want to thank John for his continued leadership at the agency."
Shirk has spent more than three decades in public service. He began his career with DOR's compliance division in 1989 and was promoted to a series of leadership positions there. He most recently served as the department's assistant director for tax policy before joining the governor's office.
"Working with the governor has been an honor, and I am grateful he gave me the opportunity to work with such a talented team. That we have passed some truly transformative legislation on so many fronts during my time in the administration is incredibly rewarding," Shirk said. "I look forward to returning to DOR, where I began my career, and working to ensure Washington's tax structure is fair and equitable."
Shirk is a native of Wenatchee. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Washington and completed graduate coursework at Eastern Washington University's public administration program.