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About the Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Its seven members are leading citizens chosen from around the Sound and appointed by the governor. Gov. Chris Gregoire named Bill Ruckelshaus the first chair. Founding members will serve terms of different lengths. Successors to the original council will each serve four-year terms.

Washington state has over 200 boards and commissions to which Governor Gregoire appoints citizen members. Appointees are responsible for advising the Governor, the legislature, and state agencies. For more information on board and commission appointments visit http://governor.wa.gov/boards/default.asp

For questions about the Leadership Council contact Tammy Owings, Special Assistant, 360.464.1229.

The public is invited to participate in meetings. 2011 Meeting Schedule >>

Chair: Martha Kongsgaard
Four-year term, ends June 25, 2014
Martha Kongsgaard was born and raised in Napa, Calif., to a family of jurists, grape growers and cattle ranchers. Kongsgaard married Peter Goldman in 1988 and collaborated with him to found the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation. The foundation gives grants to a variety of nonprofit environmental, social justice and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, many of which affect Puget Sound. Her community activities include participation on the national board and the executive committees of Earthjustice, Islandwood, the Future of the Law Institute and Friends of the Methow. She chairs several major capital campaigns, including the Cascade Agenda, the expansion of Islandwood and the building of the LEED-certified Community Center at the New High Point. Kongsgaard has served as the president of Philanthropy Northwest and has spoken broadly about philanthropy and the environmental movement to wide and diverse audiences for the past 20 years.

Member: Billy Frank, Jr.
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2011
Biography: Billy Frank. Jr. of the Nisqually Indian Tribe has been chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 30 years. In this capacity, he "speaks for the salmon" on behalf of 20 Treaty Indian Tribes in western Washington. Under his leadership, tribes have successfully reasserted their traditional role as natural resource managers and secured other rights protected by treaties with the United States government. He has been celebrated regionally, nationally and internationally as an outstanding Native American leader and has been the recipient of numerous recognition awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Indian Country Today Inaugural American Visionary Award.

Member: Diana Gale
Four-year term, ends June 25, 2013
Diana Gale is currently the chair of the Washington Public Works Board, which biennially awards over $300 million in loans to local governments for infrastructure upgrades and repair. Gale is a senior lecturer at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She is the former managing director of Seattle Public Utilities, the City of Seattle Office of Management and Budget and superintendent of the Seattle Water Department. She has been on the board of the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Long Live the Kings, the National Water Research Institute, the American Municipal Water Association and the International Water Management Council.

Member: Dan O’Neal
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2013
Biography: Dan O’Neal is a member of the Washington State Transportation Commission where he served as chair from 2005 to 2006. O’Neal is on the board of The Greenbrier Companies (GBX), a publicly traded railroad car leasing and manufacturing company, and is a founder and investor in PowerTech Group, Inc., a business security software company.  He chairs the Puget Sound Freight Mobility Roundtable and, until July 2005, served as chair of the Washington Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board. He is on the board of the Cascade Land Conservancy and is a board member and vice president of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. He previously was owner and CEO of a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Seattle. He served on the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1980 and was chair of the agency from 1977 to 1980. Prior to the ICC, O'Neal was transportation counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee under the leadership of Sen. Warren G. Magnuson.

Member: Steve Sakuma
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2013
Biography: Steve Sakuma was raised on the family farm with operations in Washington and California. Sakuma is CEO of Sakuma Bros. Holding Co., a family-owned farming operation consisting of Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., Norcal Nursery, Inc. and Sakuma Bros. Processing, Inc. He is a retired US Army colonel and has 26 years of military experience. He has years of involvement with Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, having served as a member of the board and as president. He is a board member of the Western Washington Agricultural Association and a Commissioner in Drainage and Irrigation District #14.

Member: Bill Wilkerson
Term: Four-year term, ends June 25, 2014
Biography: Bill Wilkerson retired in December 2006 from his position as executive director of the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA), where he served for more than 10 years. Wilkerson was the lead negotiator in the state's landmark salmon recovery plan - the Forests & Fish Agreement - the largest Habitat Conservation Plan in the country, meeting requirements of both the endangered species and the clean water acts. Prior to joining WFPA, he was a partner in the law firm of Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Daheim. He served as managing partner and as chair of the firm's Resources Strategies Group. He was the director of the Washington Department of Revenue and the Washington Fisheries Department and held positions in the Interior and Commerce departments, the Office of the President and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Member: David Dicks
Term: ends June 25, 2011
Biography: As the first Executive Director of the Puget Sound Partnership, David was instrumental in development of the Action Agenda, an ecosystem-based roadmap for Puget Sound cleanup and protection efforts and paved the way toward restoring the Sound by 2020. Prior to his appointment to the Partnership, David was a partner at Cascadia Law Group PLLC in Seattle. His practice focused on Puget Sound, salmon recovery, and other natural resource projects. He received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from Stanford University, and received his J.D. and the Environmental Law Certificate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. In November 2010 he accepted a position with the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. He divided his growing up years between Hood Canal and Washington DC. David, his wife Antonia, and daughter Danika continue to enjoy time in “the Hood” when they are not at their home in Seattle.

Written by :
Rae McNally