UW News

February 15, 2000

Former City Council leader Sue Donaldson joins UW

After a decade as one of Seattle’s top city leaders, former City Council President Sue Donaldson has joined the University of Washington to run a public-policy forum and teach courses in public affairs and law.

Donaldson, who declined to run for re-election last year, will teach a spring-quarter course at the UW’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs entitled “Gender, Politics and Leadership,” which will compare decisions and approaches taken by female and male leaders.

“Sue Donaldson’s wealth of experience with making things work in local government will be invaluable for our students,” said Evans School Dean Marc Lindenberg.

She also has been named director of the Northwest Forum, a program of the Evans School that sponsors task forces, working groups and public discussion sessions to help policymakers and citizens examine issues facing the region.

At the Northwest Forum, Donaldson will replace David Harrison, who will be on leave from the UW to run for the state Legislature. Under Harrison’s guidance, the year-and-a-half-old Northwest Forum helped bridge the gap between officials, citizens and scholars on issues ranging from salmon restoration to public-private partnerships.

“Coming from government,” Donaldson said, “I’m looking forward to making those excellent relationships even stronger.”

In addition to her work at the Evans School, Donaldson will be the Harold S. Shefelman Distinguished Lecturer this fall at the UW Law School.

After earning her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, Donaldson received her law degree from the UW in 1979. She joined the City Council as an appointee in 1990 after working as a property attorney at Perkins Coie, and was twice re-elected.

“Sue Donaldson was a superb student at this Law School,” said Law Dean Roland Hjorth. “We have observed her success with much pride and satifaction, first as a practicing lawyer and then as an outstanding member of the City Council.”

After chairing the council’s land-use and parks committees, Donaldson was council president in 1998 and 1999.

Throughout her term, Donaldson was a passionate national advocate for youth volunteerism, chairing the American Association of State Service Commissions and helping establish the Seattle Service Corps 2000. She is currently promoting an initiative to provide safe havens for unwanted babies.

Donaldson said she is looking forward to her multi-faceted UW job, which will include teaching, research and writing on governance and law, and forging connections between political leaders and academia.

She and her husband, Dr. Paul Fletcher, have three daughters.
For more information, contact Donaldson at (206)616-1652 or donaldsonf@aol.com, or Lindenberg at (206) 616-1648 or linde@u.washington.edu. The Evans School web address is http://evans.washington.edu/index.html.