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In this installment of “The Conversations,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau discuss the highs and lows of women serving as leaders. Moderated by journalist Joni Balter and Dr. Larry Hubbell, longtime previous director of Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service, Durkan, Best, and Juneau consider what it takes to get women elected or appointed to positions of power—and what is needed after that in order for them to be effective and successful leaders. With input and questions from Institute of Public Service’s Dr. Rashmi Chordiya and Seattle University students, these women explore why they are leaving or have left their jobs. Does it have anything to do with gender? Do we treat women leaders differently than we treat men doing the same job? Join us to encounter new perspectives on this always-relevant conversation.
Carmen Best, Chief of Police Seattle (Retired) served with the Seattle Police Department for 28 years, beginning as an entry-level patrol officer and later becoming the first African American woman Chief of Police, managing approximately 2000 sworn and civilian employees before retiring in 2020. Prior to becoming Chief of Police, she served as Deputy Chief, overseeing the Patrol Operations, Investigations, and Special Operations Bureaus, as well as the Community Outreach section. She is a contributor to MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News affiliates and a law enforcement analyst for KING 5 news in Seattle. Ms. Best is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the National Latino Police Officers Association (NLPOA) and is the mother of two adult daughters and enjoys hiking in her spare time.
Jenny Durkan is the 56th Mayor of Seattle, becoming the city’s first female mayor since the 1920s and its second openly LGBTQ elected mayor. She took office in November 2017, and before becoming Mayor, was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the US Attorney for the Western District of Washington (2009-2014).
Superintendent Denise Juneau is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa tribes, and has worked in classrooms, state agencies, and in law. In 2008, she became the first American Indian woman to be elected to a statewide office, when the became the superintendent of public instruction in the state of Montana.
Joni Balter is a multimedia journalist and lecturer. She hosts “Civic Cocktail,” sponsored by Seattle CityClub and the Seattle Channel. She is a regular on NPR affiliate KUOW’s “Week in Review” and provides political analysis Friday mornings on KUOW. She also contributes to Bloomberg Opinion. Balter is professional-in-resident at the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University and teaches at the University of Washington’s Evans Graduate School of Public Policy and Governance.
Dr. Larry Hubbell is a professor and former director of the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University. Prior to his tenure at Seattle University, Hubbell was a professor at the University of Wyoming. In addition to his career, he worked for ten years in the federal government at the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr. Rashmi Chordiya is an assistant professor of public administration in the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University. Her research focuses on advancing management outcomes in government organizations operating in cross-national contexts and from the lens of organizational justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, yielding publications in several, prestigious journals. She is currently working on a book project entitled Managing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public and Nonprofit Sector Context.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle Town Hall Seattle and Seattle University Institute of Public Service.