Gov. Jay Inslee today named Megan Matthews director of the Washington State Office of Equity. She has served as acting director of the agency since May.
Matthews has worked with the Office of Equity since April 2021 as the assistant director for shared power, leading multiple aspects of the agency's work. Her portfolio includes driving the agency's overall strategy, developing and implementing budgets, legislative and public relations, developing and publishing the community compensation guidelines as directed by ESSB 5793, and working with the governor's office to craft executive orders promoting equity in employment opportunities across Washington.
“Megan is a dynamic and authentic leader who knows what it takes to make the Office of Equity successful. This agency is central to our work promoting equity and justice for all," said Inslee. "I look forward to continuing to work with Megan and her office to implement policy priorities that make it possible for all Washingtonians to thrive and live healthy, successful lives."
Megan’s background in social services has helped prepare her for this role. Prior to joining the Office of Equity, Megan served as an engagement manager for the economic services administration at the Department of Social and Health Services, where she researched and wrote reports on poverty reduction, economic mobility and racial justice. She was also the inaugural chair of Washington State Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (BUILD),one of Washington State’s seven business resource groups for state employees and part of the state’s business strategy to diversify leadership roles and making Washington state an employer of choice. Earlier in her career, she managed a team of enforcement staff at the Economic Servies Administration's division of child support within DSHS.
"I am honored to serve Washingtonians in this role. Our office is busy laying a strong internal foundation by hiring to get fully staffed to do our critical work, implementing our budget strategy to be as efficient and impactful with the funds we have been allocated, and meeting our mandate to bring accountability to government and advance equity and justice for all Washingtonians," said Matthews. "Thank you to those in community and state government who have supported our office. Together, we live out the value of Ubuntu: I am because we are. What happens to one, happens to all. So together, we will make Washington a state where everyone belongs and has access to the resources, power, and opportunities they need to thrive."
Matthews grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Lincoln High School. She received a bachelor's degree in history from Williams College in Massachusetts and a master's degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College.