Brian Surratt appointed to Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees

Brian Surratt

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Brian Surratt to the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees, effective June 17, 2021. He will serve as one of five appointed members of the board. Trustees are responsible for overall governance and policy leadership of the Seattle Colleges District.

“My entire career has been devoted to economic mobility and opportunity,” said Surratt. “As the son of a working-class and immigrant family of color and a first-generation college graduate, I personally understand how critical acquiring skills is in propelling an individual’s opportunity to flourish in our hyper-competitive, global economy. It is a privilege to serve an educational institution that understands that our region’s long-term health and success depend on an unwavering commitment to ensuring all our students, particularly those from our most underserved communities, have the chance to live to their full promise and potential.”

Surratt replaces Robert Williams, who left the board earlier this year, and will serve the remainder of the five-year term running through September 30, 2023. His appointment will need to be confirmed by the Washington State Senate when it reconvenes next year.

Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan looks forward to Surratt’s involvement. “Brian Surratt is an experienced and respected leader. He brings to the Board a range of experiences in economic and workforce development and a background of public service, as well as commitment to equity and community engagement,” said Pan. “We are so pleased to have his informed perspectives and voice as part of our organization.”

Surratt is the executive director of the Puget Sound office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one the country’s largest community development organizations, and will support community-driven investment for economic development, housing, health, and jobs in the region. Previously, he was vice president for real estate development and community relations at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., an urban real estate investment trust focused on building collaborative life science and technology campuses in the nation’s leading innovation centers.

From 2015 to 2017 Surratt worked for the City of Seattle, serving as the director of the Office of Economic Development. During that time, he successfully negotiated a memorandum of understanding to redevelop Climate Pledge Arena, outlining the major financial, development, operational, public benefit, and labor terms for the $1 billion redevelopment project. He is also credited for expanding Seattle’s youth employment program to 3,500 youth employed and facilitating several innovative real estate development projects in Seattle’s Black community to address displacement and gentrification.

Prior to that, he held various positions in Seattle’s Office of Economic Development—including deputy director, business development director, and industry sectors manager. He was also a senior policy advisor for Seattle’s Office of Policy and Innovation, where he served as the policy lead on Seattle’s historic effort to establish a $15 per hour minimum wage. In the early 2000s he was a public affairs manager for First & Goal, Inc./Seattle Seahawks. He began his career as a legislative assistant for former Washington State Representative Jim McIntire.

Surrat holds a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.