Business Operations

Seattle Chamber Names New CEO

Rachel Smith is the third CEO in three years

By Nat Rubio-Licht November 20, 2020


The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has selected Rachel Smith as its next president and CEO.

Smith is the deputy executive and chief of staff for King County, where she leads policy strategy and execution, and oversees the countys partnership with the organizations executive team. Her new post begins Jan. 4.

Rachel is a champion for our region and brings experience that will make the chamber a stronger advocate for its members and the broader business community, says Diana Birkett Rakow, chairwoman of the Chambers Board of Trustees.

The search committee for the position chose Smith unanimously after a nationwide search process. Smith replaces Marilyn Strickland, who resigned after two years to run for Congress in Washington’s 10th Congressional District. Strickland won with slightly more than 50% of the vote in a three-way race and will be seated next month.

Smith — the chamber’s third CEO in three years — will work to broaden the influence of the organization, which counts 2,600 business members who employ about 750,000 people. Chamber-backed candidates lost five of seven City Council races in 2019.

The jobs, prosperity, and community solutions that our region’s employers bring are more important than ever as we focus on post-pandemic economic recovery, Smith says.

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