Richard Conlin Resume

RICHARD – 206.499.5793 -- Seattle, WA

Summary of Experience and Expertise

Demonstrated ability to take ideas from conception to implementation in diverse settings.

Deep and extensive knowledge of municipal government and a wide range of issue areas, including transportation, policies to promote sustainable communities and practices, land use and housing, local food policy, resource conservation, economic development, and emergency preparedness.

Proven success in engaging a wide range of stakeholders in developing community-driven outcomes.

Strong policy analysis, policy development, and program evaluation skills.

Proven ability to manage complex issues in crisis situations and to develop win-win solutions for seemingly intractable problems.

Sixteen years serving as an elected Seattle City Councilmember; selected by colleagues to serve four years as Council President; wide range of involvement in regional decision making bodies.

Twelve years directing community projects with Metrocenter YMCA.

A core career involvement in teaching, speaking, writing, and communications, including numerous speaking engagements, teaching Public Administration and Development Planning at the University of Botswana and Swaziland, and serving as a teaching assistant at Michigan State University.

Business involvement in developing workforce housing (current) and operating a small energy conservation business and in writing and publishing, including serving as founding Publisher for YES! Magazine.

Project Manager, Consultant, and Teacher, 2014-present

Focus on sustainability, resilience, food policy, community development, and local government policy development and implementation.

Principal, Conlin Columbia Partnership for Cities, building community and cultural facilities in conjunction with affordable housing.

Major projects have included developing a Food Policy Action Plan and the Riverside Food Policy Alliance for the City of Riverside, California, and designing and administering the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund for the City of Seattle.

Other projects include evaluating anti-poverty programs for the ‘Ideas for Action’ award under a contract with the University of Washington and the Northwest Area Foundation; facilitating the organizing workshop for the California Agriculture and Food Enterprise under a contract with the University of California Riverside; developing financing for the expansion of the Equinox Studios, a development company dedicated to creating space for artists and artisans; participating on the team that produced ‘Sustainable Infrastructure: A Toolkit for Planners’ for the American Planning Association; conducting workshops on local food policy for the City of Auckland, New Zealand; and speaking on community development, citizen engagement, and environmental and local food policy in Tauranga, Dunedin, Gisborne, and Hutt Valley, New Zealand under a contract with Inspiring Communities of New Zealand. Also served as speaker and facilitator at numerous conferences and workshops, including New Partners for Smart Growth and Urban@UW.

Currently Affiliate Faculty, Honors College and Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, and Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Seattle University. Teach classes in 'Ecology of Urban Seattle', 'Neighborhood Planning', 'Resilience and Emergency Management', 'Environmental Policy', 'Local Food Policy', 'Community Development, Poverty, and Resilience', and 'Leadership in the Public Service' Board member, Northwest Environmental Forum and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Washington Chapter.


Seattle City Councilmember, 1998-2013

Responsible for policy development, legislation, and oversight for the City of Seattle, a municipal government with 11,000 employees and a $4 billion budget. Elected to the Seattle City Council in November 1997 and reelected in 2001, 2005, and 2009. Selected by colleagues to serve as Council President for 2008-2009 and 2010-2011.

From 1998 to 2001, chaired the Neighborhoods, Sustainability, and Community Development Committee, and moved 37 neighborhood plans through Council approval. The successful completion of the Neighborhood Planning Program was a key step in implementing growth management in Seattle.

From 2002 to 2005, chaired the Transportation Committee, and worked to implement regional plans to improve transit, develop new funding sources for transportation maintenance and neighborhood improvements, and support pedestrian and bicycle projects.

From 2006 to 2009, chaired the Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities Committee, overseeing utilities, emergency management, salmon recovery, climate change, green building, and the urban forest. Reshaped Seattle's solid waste and recycling program ("Zero Waste Strategy"), developed sustainable infrastructure policies, and created Seattle food policy (“Local Food Action Initiative”).

From 2010 to 2013, chaired the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee, overseeing comprehensive planning, zoning, design, land use regulations, and neighborhood plans, as well as industrial development districts, food policy, the urban forest, and emergency preparedness. As Vice-Chair of the Capital Committee on the Sound Transit Board, facilitated new policies on station access and transit oriented development and the resolution of issues around new light rail lines. Initiated the Regional Food Policy Council and secured its location at the Puget Sound Regional Council, serving as Chair since its inception. Also served as member of the Growth Management Planning Council, the King County Board of Health, and the Green-Duwamish Watershed Council, working on salmon restoration.

Publisher, YES! Magazine, 1995-1997

Founding publisher for quarterly magazine focused on identifying and publicizing the ongoing efforts to build a more sustainable society. Developed initial funding and subscription plan, negotiated agreements and established organizational and financial structure, worked with Board and staff to create long-term plan to provide framework for successfully managing and expanding the organization.

Director of Community and Environment Department, Metrocenter YMCA, 1984-1995

Responsible for developing, managing, and funding projects to involve communities around issues of environmental stewardship and community development.

Directed Seattle YMCA Earth Service Corps, engaging students at 40 high schools in youth development through environmental education and action. Developed organizational model and managed the Master Home Environmentalist program, training volunteers to reduce home indoor pollution. Co-founded Sustainable Seattle, which published the "Indicators of Sustainable Community," and promotes actions that further Seattle's long-term cultural, economic, environmental, and social health. Originated and managed household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events in King County, and managed collection, training, and education programs under contracts with King County and Department of Ecology.


Principal, ALCOR Community Oriented Development, 1981-1986

 Directed business that created and managed programs to encourage and implement resource conservation. Supervised employees and maintained financial solvency of business. Created the Northwest Conservation Act Report, a newsletter about implementation of energy conservation and salmon recovery in the four-state region. Developed and managed program to wrap 8,000 water heaters under contract to Seattle City Light and the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Initiated demonstration project funded by Bonneville Power Administration to assess and evaluate the feasibility of providing incentives to developers to install energy efficient appliances.

Lecturer, University of Botswana and Swaziland, 1977-1979

 Taught classes in Public Administration and Development, and authored papers on development issues. Demonstrated cross-cultural competence in creating curricula and working with diverse student body.

Other Employment: Legislative Outreach Director, Solar Lobby, 1979-1981; Projects Director, Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, 1973-1977; Elected Ingham County Commissioner, 1973-1976; Systems Representative, Burroughs Corporation, 1969-1971

Education: BA History 1968, MA Political Science 1971, Michigan State University

Volunteer Activities: Co-Chair, Regional Food Policy Council, Puget Sound Regional Council. Board of Directors, Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association. Member, City of Seattle International Advisory Board; Member, Washington Food System Roundtable. Founding member of Antioch University Seattle Board of Trustees; founding Board member of YES! Magazine, Bike Works, and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. Chaired committees for the Madrona Community Council and led work on the Central Area Neighborhood Plan.