Mayor Durkan Expands the Role of Pamela Banks to Serve as Interim Director for Office of Economic Development

Deputy Director Michelle Caulfield to become Acting Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environment 

SEATTLE (February 8, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced the appointment of Pamela Banks to serve as the Interim Director of the Office of Economic Development (OED). Banks re-joined the City earlier this year to help coordinate citywide efforts related to economic and social recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. In her role of Interim Director of OED, Banks will continue to oversee the City’s Equitable Investments and Recovery work, leading a dedicated team focused specifically on these efforts and will more deeply integrate this work into the Office of Economic Development.  

“As Director of Recovery and Equitable Investments, Pamela has been working side-by-side with Seattle’s business communities to drive our plan for a robust economic recovery, especially downtown. The Office of Economic Development continues to be a lifeline for so many during this immensely challenging year, and with Pamela serving as Interim Director, we can further ensure an equitable recovery for our small businesses, nightlife, and neighborhood business districts,” said Mayor Durkan. “Not only is Pamela a highly respected and accomplished community leader who has worked in government, non-profits and the private sector, she deeply loves this city and the future we’re building.”  

Since the pandemic, OED has helped hundreds of businesses keep their doors open with $8.6 million in small business relief funding, promoting shopping local through the Shop Your Block campaign, investing in programs that serve displaced workers due to COVID-19, and assisting small businesses across our City apply to state federal relief programs. In the coming year, OED will play a critical role for supporting small businesses and nightlife, reopening, and coordinating special events.  

Last week, Jessica Finn Coven announced she would be accepting a role as Vice President of National Programs at Energy Foundation in March 2021. Under her leadership, OSE has worked to increase the number of Fresh Bucks customers more than sixfold, pass an oil heating tax and Energy Code that will move our city away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, and launch a number of important environmental initiatives including the Duwamish Valley Program, the Environmental Justice Fund, and the Building Tune Ups program. Deputy Director Michelle Caulfield will serve as Acting Director of OSE.  

“As we think about recovery, we have a chance to build back better as a City of the future that holds fast our ambitious climate goals. Under the leadership of OSE, we have increased the number of Fresh Bucks customers and created new grocery voucher program during COVID-19, passed new laws to move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, and invested in environmental justice initiatives,” said Mayor Durkan. “Under Michelle, we will remain committed to continuing to deliver emergency food service to Seattle families and to ensure that environmental justice and climate resiliency are key tenets of our City’s recovery.”