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Ombuds Director

Ombuds Director

Seattle, WA, USA

Seattle, WA, USA

King County, WA

Greg Nelson and Bryan Noblett


Lead Recruiter

Ombuds Director

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One of the largest and most attractive counties in the United States offers a rare opportunity to lead its Office of the Ombuds, an independent office that promotes public confidence in government by investigating complaints, solving problems for the public, and making recommendations for action.


The Office of the Ombuds was created by the voters of King County in the County Home Rule Charter of 1968 and operates as an independent office within the legislative branch of the King County government.  The work of the Office promotes public confidence in King County government by responding to public complaints in an impartial, efficient and timely manner, and contributes to the improved operation of County government by making recommendations based upon the results of complaint investigations.

The Ombuds Office performs the following functions, providing members of the public and King County employees the opportunity to raise concerns and lodge complaints about the following:

  • Investigates complaints regarding administrative conduct by King County agencies, alleged ethics violations, whistleblower activity, administrative acts, and lobbyist disclosure issues.

  • Reviews possible violations of the King County Employee Code of Ethics.

  • Investigates reports of improper governmental action and retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Code.

  • Publishes recommendations for change based on the results of its investigations.

  • Fulfills the function of Property Tax Advisor for King County in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington 84.48.140.

The Office of the Ombuds provides its services with 10 full-time employees and an annual budget of $4.6 million.


The Ombuds Director is an exempt, executive-level position appointed by the King County Council to an initial five-year term and subject to successive five-year reappointments. The Ombuds Director is a leader responsible for all activity in the Office of the Ombuds, setting the vision for the Office, managing staff and their workload, engaging with community members, and working with other County leaders and managers to resolve complaints.   The Ombuds Director reports to the Chair of the Council but is responsive to all nine Councilmembers.

In addition to being ethical, well-qualified, and experienced, the ideal candidate should have effective people leadership and communication skills, the ability to manage workload and resources in such a way that staff can perform at their highest level and receive the intrinsic satisfaction derived from doing meaningful work, an abundance of empathy, and a solution-oriented outlook.


The following are the minimum qualifications for the position of Ombuds Director:

Education: A degree from an accredited college or its equivalent in service to government.

Experience: A working knowledge of legal and administrative procedures. Experience and/or knowledge of local government commensurate with the powers of the office.

Residency: King County requires that its employees reside in Washington State and within a “reasonable distance” to their regularly assigned county workplace. Reasonable distance is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Other: Must be a registered voter in the United States.


The salary range for the Ombuds Director is $159,272 to $214,202, depending upon qualifications. King County offers an excellent benefits package including retirement provided through the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), offered through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems; excellent insurance options including medical, dental, vision, and life; paid vacation, sick leave, 12 holidays per year, and two personal holidays; a hybrid work schedule; and up to $15,000 in relocation expenses. Interested candidates are encouraged to review the detailed recruitment brochure for additional benefit information.


Interested candidates should submit a comprehensive résumé and compelling cover letter below no later than Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Confidential inquiries are welcomed to Greg Nelson or Bryan Noblett at (916) 550-4100. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established.

King County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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