Mayor Greg Nickels announced on Dec. 27 the appointing of Ken Nakatsu as his new Chief of Department Operations. Nakatsu, who is currently director of the city’s Department of Executive Administration (DEA), will join the mayor’s staff this month, according to a press release.

Nakatsu, a Seattle native, will take over the position from John Franklin, who is stepping down after nearly three years to take time off and to pursue other opportunities.

In his new role, Nakatsu will oversee all city department operations for the mayor. He brings more than 30 years of experience in public service and management to the position. Before taking the helm at DEA in 2002, Nakatsu served as deputy director of the city’s Finance Department and as deputy director and chief operating officer of the Executive Services Department.

“Ken is an effective manager who knows how to tackle complex challenges and get the job done,” Nickels said. “I’m pleased he has taken on this important task. Ken will work closely with city departments to continue delivering effective and efficient services to the people of Seattle.”

Nickels thanked Franklin for his years of outstanding service to the city and its citizens.

“John has shown a tremendous dedication and commitment to serving the public, whether it was working for the city, the state or public schools,” Nickels said. “John has helped make Seattle an even better place to live. I thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of the people of this city and wish him well in his new endeavors.”

Nickels also named Fred Podesta acting director of DEA. Podesta is currently director of DEA’s Business Technology Division.

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