OLYMPIA, Aug. 10.—Marty Brown, one of the old reliables at the statehouse, a figure who seemingly has been around as long as the marble itself and whose beard is just as speckled, has announced his departure as director of the Office of Financial Management. He joins the exodus of top administrative officials in the waning days of the Gregoire administration. That’s two in two days. Who’s next?
Brown is heading to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, where he will be executive director.
On Thursday it was Doug Porter, the longtime Medicaid director who became director of the state Health Care Authority. Porter is leaving for a consulting job in the private sector. Such departures, of course, are to be expected in any administration as the end nears. Gregoire will leave office in January at the end of her second term.
Brown is one of the most familiar figures at the statehouse, a well-respected figure who seemingly has held most of the top positions available under Gregoire and Gary Locke, who preceded her in office. And one, Washington State Wire would like to point out, who was always willing to take a call from a reporter and explain the intricacies of budget policy.
Gregoire issued a statement: “Marty has been a constant in my office since the beginning of my administration. Over the last eight years, he’s been one of the first advisors I turn to when I need solid advice and has become a dear friend and trusted confidant. His sense of humor is second to none and provided needed laughs during some difficult times. His presence in my office will truly be missed by me and my entire staff. I wish Marty only the best in this new role. The SBCTC is gaining a fantastic executive director, one that I’m confident will continue to serve Washingtonians well.”
The news was released by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges at 4:56 p.m. Friday, too late for reporters to catch Brown at his office – which might have been the basic idea. But at least the press release contains a quote. Here it is:
Marty Brown Selected Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
OLYMPIA, Wash – The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has selected Marty Brown as its new executive director. Brown is currently the director of the Office of Financial Management (OFM) and is expected to assume his new role in mid-September.
State Board Chair Sharon Fairchild said Brown’s experience will advance the system’s mission to educate more Washingtonians to higher skills and degrees so students can land good jobs and contribute to the economy.
“If anybody knows the value of higher education and economic development, it’s Marty Brown,” said Fairchild. “He’s a visionary leader who is well respected for his ability to steer important policy initiatives in tough financial times. His years of experience will be a tremendous asset for our students and our colleges.”
As the current OFM director, Brown oversees policy, accounting, and labor relations for the State of Washington. Brown is responsible for overall management of the state’s operating, transportation, and capital budgets. He also supervises work on the Governor’s budget, proposed legislation, and financial policies, and establishes expenditure and revenue plans for all state agencies.
Brown formerly served as director of legislative affairs for Governor Gregoire, legislative director and deputy chief of staff for former Governor Locke, and secretary of the Washington State Senate. Brown has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a juris doctor from the University of Puget Sound School of Law.
He is replacing Charlie Earl, who is retiring this month.
“I’m energized and excited about the future of the community and technical college system. Innovation, technology, funding and access are key to students’ success as they learn the skills needed for Washington to compete in the world,” said Brown. “Our community and technical college system is one of the best investments Washington can make for the economic success of residents and the state. I look forward to building on that excellent foundation.”
Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges comprise the state’s largest system of higher education. Each year, nearly 500,000 students train for jobs, prepare to transfer to a university, gain basic math and English skills, or pursue continuing education.
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges oversees the system, sets policy, allocates state operating and capital funds to the colleges, strategically plans the two-year college mission, and approves educational programs.