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KCRHA hires new permanent CEO after one year of searching


(The Center Square) – The King County Regional Homelessness Authority has a new permanent CEO after over a year of searching.

The agency has appointed Kelly Kinnison as the next permanent CEO. Kinnison was the lone candidate after multiple candidates withdrew from consideration.

Kinnison is based out of Washington D.C. where she is now wrapping up her time as the director of family and community policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Kinnison oversees the development of legislative proposals and policy on employment and economic mobility, refugee resettlement, housing, and homelessness.

“The KCRHA, the Governing Committee, the Implementation Board, and local leaders are not just pleased, but genuinely excited to welcome Dr. Kinnison and her wealth of skills and expertise to the effort to address the homelessness crisis in King County,” the agency said in a statement. “Her appointment brings a sense of optimism and a much-needed stability to the authority.”

The KCRHA has had two interim CEOs since Marc Dones left. Current Interim CEO L. Darrell Powell withdrew his candidacy from the permanent CEO search last month. Powell said he did so because he does not believe the agency is in a position to make strides in helping homeless people in King County, as previously reported by The Center Square.

Powell said that “significant governance changes and personnel changes” would be needed to achieve that agency’s potential.

The interim CEO is referring to the KCRHA’s three separate boards that have oversight authority: the governing committee, the implementation board, and the Seattle King County Continuum of Care Board, which is in charge of applying for federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for homelessness assistance.

Kinnison’s appointment comes despite calls for KCRHA to pause its search for a permanent CEO by Seattle City Councilmember Cathy Moore, who is a part of the KCRHA Governing Committee. KCRHA countered with a statement calling Kinnison a “qualified and enthusiastic” candidate.