This week on Inside Olympia, host Austin Jenkins sits down for an exit interview with Washington Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown.
Brown is a familiar name in state government. She represented Spokane’s 3rd legislative district for 20 years. During her time in the State Legislature, she served a stint as Senate Majority Leader. She also served as Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, and taught economics at Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University.
In early 2019 she was tabbed by Governor Jay Inslee to direct the Washington Department of Commerce, a state government agency with a diverse portfolio that includes homelessness assistance, crime victim advocacy, public safety, rural community development, small business assistance growth management, housing, energy, economic development, tribal engagement, broadband expansion and funding, and more.
It was only a year into her time as director that COVID struck. Many of Commerce’s programs, like rental assistance and small business assistance, were of critical importance during the pandemic.
Commerce has been involved in other high-profile issues, such as how to deal with homelessness camps on public rights of way, such as Camp Hope in Spokane.
Learn more about Lisa Brown and the mission of the Washington Department of Commerce, this week on Inside Olympia.