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The King County Immigrant & Refugee Commission is recruiting!

On Feb 27th, 2018 King County Executive Dow Constantine and members of the County Council signed legislation creating an Immigrant and Refugee Commission, a permanent body committed to integrating, strengthening and valuing immigrant and refugee communities and upholding the county’s commitment as a welcoming community.

The Commission will meet monthly beginning in fall of 2018, and will work to achieve fair and equitable access to county services for immigrant and refugee communities, improve opportunities for civic engagement, set annual goals, and participate in important dialogue on County policies and practices that impact the community.

To learn more about the details of Ordinance 18653 for the establishment of a King County immigrant and refugee commission please click here.


The Commission will work as a hub and central connecting place for building direct relationships with and supporting the vision for social justice for immigrant and refugee communities in King County.  The commission will enhance the integration of refugees and immigrants culturally, economically, and civically, in order to strengthen the communities where they live. The Commission will support refugees and immigrants to thrive and succeed while maintaining their own identities.

Scope of Duties and Annual Plan

The Commission will act as a hub to align work of a broad group of stakeholders to identify, elevate and develop shared strategies and solutions, streamline and strengthen efforts, and bring more resources to the most pressing issues affecting immigrant and refugee communities. To achieve this goal, the commission will: 

  • Assist and advise the County Executive, County Council, offices of assessor, sheriff, prosecuting attorney, and elections, and all other departments and divisions on issues, programs, policies, and legislation impacting immigrant and refugee communities;
  • Promote civic participation and government representation (including working to encourage hiring in County government, and representation on boards, commissions, and elected offices), of immigrant and refugee community members;
  • Collaborate with all levels of government to ensure effective outreach to and engagement of immigrant communities and refugee communities and advise on County’s role with other government entities;
  • Work with Equity and Social Justice Office to develop and review core principles on equity as they relate to immigrant and refugee communities in the context of King County policies and operations;
  • Assist with the development and implementation of King County policies and regulations protecting and impacting immigrant and refugee communities;
  • Evaluate County programs and services from the perspective of immigrant and refugee communities;
  • Increase public awareness of immigrants and refugees and their contributions to our community;
  • Help develop and/or review County plans to ensure that the interests of immigrants and refugees are given high priority.

Focus on Differing Needs in Suburban Cities and Unincorporated Areas

Given the importance of place as a determinant of equity and the accelerated growth of immigrant and refugee populations outside of the City of Seattle, the County’s immigrant and refugee integration agenda will  include a specific focus on understanding and addressing challenges faced by communities living in smaller cities and unincorporated areas of the County.

Commission Membership Composition, Appointment Process, and Terms

The Commission will be made up of 13 King County residents reflecting the diversity of ethnicities, professional backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and geographic areas that make up the fabric of our communities. 

Commission members should be immersed in one or more refugee/immigrant communities and be well versed on the issues. The composition of the Commission shall include: 

  • At least six members shall be from unincorporated areas and sub-urban areas of King County;
  • Five members will represent and are appointed by an immigrant-led organization serving immigrant communities and of these representatives at least three members shall represent and be appointed by a small grass-roots community-based organization that has an annual budget of less than two-hundred fifty thousand dollars, that supports the needs of distinct immigrant and refugee communities and is composed predominantly of members of those communities;
  • People representing faith-based organizations are encouraged to apply;
  • Strong consideration will be given to one member with familiarity with King County government, systems and agencies;
  • At least three members shall have had personal experiences as a refugee or aslyee from any location worldwide;
  • Diversity considerations: Socioeconomic status, gender diversity, age, sexual orientation, and ethnic and racial diversity will be considered in the composition of the Commission. 


Commission members should have three-year, staggered terms, with a two-term limit (each member can potentially serve four to six years total)


Are you interested in joining the Immigrant & Refugee Commission? Follow the below steps.

  1. Please download the application and submit along with the supplemental materials below.
  2. Candidates seeking appointment must submit ten endorsement signatures from persons who are immigrants or refugees. These individuals must not be related to you. Click here to download the Endorsement template. Please use one endorsement form per endorsement.
  3. Candidates seeking appointment must submit three letters of recommendation: two letters from members of an immigrant and/or refugee community, and one letter of recommendation from a nonprofit organization serving immigrant and refugee communities to support your candidacy. (please note that if you are applying for one of the five organizational seats, your letter from the leadership of the organization can count towards one of the 3 letters of recommendation).
  4. If you are applying for one of the 5 organizational positions you must submit a letter with your application from the leadership of the organization appointing you.

QUESTIONS: Please contact Bookda Gheisar with any questions at or Carmela Ennis at

Please return completed materials (applications, endorsements, recommendations) by email to or by mail to:

Bookda Gheisar
Immigrant and Refugee Policy & Strategy Analyst
Office of Equity and Social Justice
King County Executive Office
401 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

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