Dave Somers
Dave Somers

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., Dec. 1, 2021 – Executive Dave Somers has appointed Kara Main-Hester, Ph.D., to serve as the Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer for Snohomish County. Main-Hester currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Snohomish County Office of Recovery and Resilience (ORR). Main-Hester will assume the role January 3, 2022, as current Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer, Mike Fong, transitions to a position in the federal government.

“Kara’s experience and knowledge are great additions to my leadership team, and I look forward to working with her as Snohomish County’s Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer. Her deep well of experience in public policy and financial management will ensure we administer our federal COVID-19 recovery investments in a way that’s responsive to the needs of our communities while being fiscally responsible and sustainable,” said Executive Somers. “We are grateful to Mike Fong for helping us organize and launch our Office of Recovery and Resilience. Thanks to Mike and Kara’s work, we’ll have a suite of new recovery investments and programs to support our communities for years to come.”

kara main-hester
Kara Main-Hester

“I’m excited to step into the role of Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer for Snohomish County. After a grueling two years, it’s time to turn our attention to the long-term recovery and resiliency of our communities and businesses,” said Main-Hester. “By making smart, strategic investments with our federal dollars, we can help ensure an equitable, sustainable, and widespread recovery across Snohomish County. I’m grateful to Executive Somers for trusting me with these efforts, and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners across the county on issues impacting our communities.”

Kara Main-Hester, Ph.D., has over 13 years of public sector experience in policy and budget development, fiscal reporting, and strategic planning. Before joining Snohomish County, Main-Hester  served as a Fiscal and Policy Analyst at the City of Seattle Budget Office, where she provided analysis, insight, and oversight on issues related to public safety, police accountability, emergency management, and homelessness and human services. She also served as the Deputy Director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, where she managed a team of 15 City staff and 600 volunteers.

“I’ve worked closely with Kara for years, and the Office of Recovery and Resilience could not be left in more capable hands. I know that Kara will continue her great work with the county team to deliver an equitable COVID-19 recovery to our residents and businesses. I’m glad that Executive Somers trusted me with the opportunity to establish the Office of Recovery and Resilience here in Snohomish County, and I look forward to our ongoing partnership to serve the county’s small businesses and workers,” said outgoing Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer Mike Fong.

In her role, Main-Hester will lead ORR and will oversee the allocation and implementation of the $160 million Snohomish County received in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. Main-Hester and ORR will work cross-departmentally and with partner governments and organizations to develop programs and monitor progress on efforts to deliver a robust and equitable recovery to residents and businesses.

Executive Dave Somers established the Office of Recovery & Resilience to guide the county’s recovery work by ensuring federal pandemic relief is administered quickly and equitably. Snohomish County will focus on three key areas for recovery investments:  

  • Continued support for public health strategies 
  • Economic recovery for small businesses, tourism, and workers  
  • Community supports across child care, food assistance, shelter, and behavioral health

More information on the county’s recovery efforts can be found here.

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