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Mayor Jenny Durkan Nominates Saad Bashir to Be Next Chief Technology Officer of the Seattle IT Department, Names Bobby Humes Interim Director at Department of Human Resources, and Reappoints Robert Nellams as Director of Seattle Center


SEATTLE (January 22, 2019) – Joined by leaders from the search committee, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced she will nominate former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the City of Ottawa Saad Bashir to be the next Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Seattle Information Technology (IT) Department.

In his role, Saad will oversee a $277 million budget and 680 full-time employees. Bashir will begin his role as CTO starting on January 28 and will be responsible for setting and defining the operating model, providing strategic leadership, direction, and management of the City’s information technology resources.

“The work of Seattle IT Department is critical to the continued functioning of internal City operations, the security of personal information and critical infrastructure, and helping deliver services that Seattle residents and businesses rely on,” said Mayor Durkan. “With deep experience in both the public and private sectors, he is a highly respected expert in digital modernization, network operations and project management who has a proven track record of delivering cost-effective and innovative solutions. I’m confident that under Saad’s leadership, Seattle IT will continue to help build a city of the future, and expand digital equity and access to technology for our communities. Saad understands that information technology is not just about communications, but is an essential pathway to equity.”

Throughout the search process, Mayor Durkan prioritized identifying an individual who brings a good balance of private and public-sector background, someone who has delivered on a technology mandate in a public-sector setting, and someone who will offer practical change management expertise to the IT organization.

“I am honored to be nominated as the next Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle,” said Saad Bashir. “I am excited about the opportunity to champion technological aspirations for a world-class city like Seattle, advance equity, and deliver for the people of Seattle. Working together with the Mayor and department leaders from across the City, we will set best practices for other North American cities.”

Bashir’s nomination comes after an extensive search process that included national and international candidates. The CTO search committee was comprised of business, labor, and nonprofit leaders with experience in technology, technical engineering and operations, and digital equity. The search for a new CTO also included extensive internal outreach to various City of Seattle groups, including the Seattle IT department’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) change team, City employees’ unions, and the Seattle IT executive team.

The CTO is the principal technology leader for the City of Seattle with overall responsibility for the management, leadership, and vision of the information technology strategy. The CTO oversees the delivery of all technology services, leads an organization of 680 FTEs, and manages an annual budget of $277 million.

“The Mayor asked our committee to find a leader with a balance of private and public-sector experience plus a combination of strategic vision and operational expertise to transform the Seattle IT Department. Saad Bashir is that leader. He has already helped the City of Ottawa on a similar mission and brings practical change management experience,” said Michael Schutzler, CEO of Washington Technology Industry Association, Search Committee Co-Chair, and IAC Member. “At the Washington Technology Industry Association, we help companies recruit and develop the next generation of technology leaders. Saad’s focus on empowering talent is inspiring and will help the city better serve residents and employees. We look forward to supporting his efforts to make Seattle IT a role model for cities across the country.”

Bashir has spent the past eight years at the City of Ottawa, serving as the Chief Information Officer for the past two and half years. As the CIO for the City of Ottawa, Bashir led a team of over 350 IT professionals to deliver cost-effective and innovative solutions for a user base of 19,000 individuals. He also managed a budget of over $100 million that encompassed addressing technology modernization, network operations, enterprise applications, project management, cyber security, risk, architecture, and overall strategy. Under Bashir’s leadership, the City of Ottawa transformed its IT department into a world-class public sector IT department, increasing productivity and enhancing agility. He is a strong advocate for agile project planning and embracing the fast-changing landscape of the technology industry to create better solutions for delivering essential services to citizens.

Before taking on the role of CIO, Bashir gained a variety of experiences in both the public and the private sectors, including serving as the City of Ottawa’s Director of Economic Development. Among his various accomplishments was navigating complex technology-business relationships and the creation of a tech start-up incubator – Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. In addition to his work for the City of Ottawa, Bashir has contributed to several boards including Oxfam Canada, a leading international development organization.

Mayor Durkan also announced the appointment of Bobby Humes to serve as the Interim Director of the Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR). Humes has served as the Director of Human Resources at the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation since May 2018 and is an experienced specialist in workforce development, labor relations, and diversity and inclusion practices. Humes is a proud veteran of the United States Army.

“I look forward to partnering with Bobby as we continue to create a workplace where our City employees not only feel safe and comfortable, but also thrive and embrace opportunities for advancement. I am confident that Bobby will help SDHR, and our entire City, build a workforce of the future that attracts and retains the best and brightest talent, and focuses on advancing racial equity and social justice in everything we do,” said Mayor Durkan.

“I am humbled and excited to carry on the work of Sue McNab in this role while a permanent leader is identified,” said Humes. “HR professionals across the City have a unique opportunity to increase the care, responsiveness, and humanity in which we carry out our duties in support of all City employees. I look forward to supporting the work and success of the Director of Investigations and Ombudsman once those roles are filled.”

This week, Mayor Durkan will also submit a package to the Seattle City Council to formally reappoint Robert Nellams as the Director of Seattle Center.

“I am thrilled to reappoint Robert as the Director of Seattle Center. Robert and Seattle Center are synonymous. Over the next few years, we will see the rebirth of Seattle Center as an economic, arts, and cultural engine for decades to come,” said Mayor Durkan. “Robert has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Seattle Center Arena and bringing the NHL to Seattle, and I am grateful for his continued partnership and dedicated work for our communities.”

“I am honored and thrilled to continue my work at Seattle Center, the community’s gathering and the region’s arts, cultural and tourism center. The 74-acre campus is unique in this world, and it is primed to rise to a new level with the reimagining of the Arena and additional revitalization on the grounds,” said Nellams. “I thank Mayor Durkan for her continued support and confidence, and I look forward to building a foundation for Seattle Center’s next 50 years.”