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A message from SHA's Board Chair Paul Purcell


A message from SHA's Board Chair Paul Purcell

Dear SHA Residents and Voucher Participants, 

Seattle Housing Authority Executive Director Andrew Lofton announced in the November 16 issue of The Voice that he plans to retire in May after 16 years with SHA and a long career in public service. Andrew has been an outstanding leader for SHA and he will be greatly missed. 

As Chair of the SHA Board of Commissioners, I am writing to update you on our search process, which includes outreach to engage staff, members of the community and tenants, something that is very important to us. Our search for a new executive director to lead SHA into the future will benefit from a diversity of views on the key characteristics, expertise and issues the Board should focus on in selecting a new executive director. 

The Board has retained the national executive search firm Gans, Gans & Associates to help us frame the position profile and identify candidates locally and nationally.  We have asked them to convene conversations with representative groups of staff, community members and tenants and provide that input to the Board. If you would like to share your perspectives, we invite you to email Gans, Gans & Associates at or write to them by U.S. Mail at Gans, Gans & Associates, 7445 Quail Meadow Rd, Plant City, Florida 33565 by January 22, referencing that you are writing about the “SHA executive director position.” 

To give you some background on the role, the executive director is the most senior staff position at SHA. The executive director reports to and supports SHA’s seven-member Board of Commissioners, two of whom are SHA residents and five of whom are at-large from the general community. The mayor and City Council appoint and confirm the commissioners. The commissioners in turn select and supervise the executive director. 

Under guidance from the Board, the executive director is responsible for overall leadership of SHA and its operations. This includes strategic planning, housing and services, the housing voucher program, real estate development and business operations. The executive director is also responsible for government, community and business relations, as well as state and national leadership on issues regarding low-income housing. The executive director is supported by a deputy executive director and an executive Cabinet team of directors who have responsibility for each of the areas above and report to the executive director or deputy executive director. 

We anticipate beginning to interview candidates in February and expect to announce a selection sometime in April, prior to Andrew’s retirement date. I will keep you posted. 

I hope you all had happy holidays and are safe and well as we begin a new year. 

Paul Purcell 
Chair, SHA Board of Commissioners