Marc Dones, a national expert on issues of homelessness, system transformation and racial justice, has been selected to serve as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA). As CEO, Dones will lead the consolidation and implementation of programs, services and budgets for the response to homelessness countywide.
“I am honored to accept the role of CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority,” said Dones. “The work ahead of us will not be easy, but I am confident we will come together as a region to end homelessness. It is critical that as the Authority advances this work, we do so with a focus on racial justice and the voices of those who are most impacted. Those tenets will be the foundation for the Authority, and I look forward to working with leaders across King County to make that vision a reality.”
Dones received unanimous support in favor of their appointment by both of the KCRHA leadership bodies. The KCRHA Implementation Board voted March 10, 2021 to approve and forward Dones’ nomination, which was followed by the Governing Committee’s action today.
Marc Dones is a social entrepreneur, policy strategist, and social justice activist with over 10 years of experience in equitable systems transformation across local, state, and federal government systems.
As the Founder and Executive Director of the National Innovation Service (NIS), Marc oversees day-to-day operations and strategy for policy, community engagement and design, as well as operations and business development.
Prior to launching NIS, Marc held various roles in social impact, specializing in policy, program design, and continuous improvement. This includes leadership roles at Future Laboratories and the Center for Social Innovation (C4). At C4, they developed and launched the SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities) Initiative, engaging 8+ jurisdictions, 20+ agencies, and the U.S. government in efforts to transform the national conversation about housing to include a focus on racism and racial justice. They also served in various roles at the state-level, including working on the design and implementation of Governor Deval Patrick’s $10M/year youth violence reduction program in 11 cities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Outside of direct systems transformation, Marc is on the faculty for the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and leverages their experience as a keynote speaker and panelist across the country. They have spoken at the White House and at Harvard University. Marc has also authored or co-authored several papers and book chapters on the subjects of racism, homelessness, mental health, and systems transformation. Marc holds a degree in Psychiatric Anthropology from New York University.
An Interlocal Agreement approved by the King County Council and the Seattle City Council in December 2019 created the KCRHA, giving it responsibility for oversight and management of programs, services, staffing and budgets for the regional response to homelessness. Establishing the Governing Committee and Implementation Board in 2020 were two key steps in standing up the KCRHA and enabling the process to recruit and select the CEO.
With the hiring of the CEO completed, the KCHRA will move forward with operational next steps, including a staffing plan to fulfill the KCRHA roles and functions. Dones will join the KCRHA on April 26, 2021.
“I am honored to accept the role of CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority,” said Marc Dones. “The work ahead of us will not be easy, but I am confident we will come together as a region to end homelessness. It is critical that as the Authority advances this work, we do so with a focus on racial justice and the voices of those who are most impacted. Those tenets will be the foundation for the Authority, and I look forward to working with leaders across King County to make that vision a reality.” -Marc Dones, Chief Executive Officer, King County Regional Homelessness Authority
“Marc has a challenging job in front of them, but thankfully brings to this position a deep understanding of the Authority’s purpose and a strong record of centering equity and social justice in this work. Our region is ready and committed to doing what is necessary to house and support the members of our community experiencing homelessness. I am confident that Marc will work effectively with the Governing Committee toward this goal, as well as with providers, advocates, those with lived experience, and those currently in need of housing throughout the region.” -Dow Constantine, King County Executive and co-chair KCRHA Governing Committee
“Marc Dones is the right person for this job and will make immediate impacts in helping our region address this crisis. Their extensive experience working with the King County homeless community advocates, elected officials, and people with lived experience was the foundation for forming the Regional Authority. Marc has established relationships and a deep understanding of what it took to get here. They recognize that while the work is challenging, we must address it with compassion, urgency, transparency, and ensuring that those impacted can quickly receive services in the communities where they become housing insecure. As the person who helped us design the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, Marc can lead our region through our most complex challenge, especially as we emerge from COVID-19.” -Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle and co-chair KCRHA Governing Committee
“We are once again on the right path to actualizing housing as a human right and ensuring every citizen in King County can thrive. Marc Dones will be instrumental in the fight for the soul of King County and I look forward to being a part and bearing moral witness to our work together.” -Johnathon Hemphill, Lived Experience Coalition and co-chair KCRHA Governing Committee
“I am looking forward to working with Marc on a host of issues, especially sub- regional planning as it is an important mechanism to ensure we hear from all parts of the county.“ -Ed Prince, Councilmember, City of Renton and co-chair KCRHA Governing Committee
“Someone we’ve referred to as ‘The Architect,’ Marc built the framework for this authority. For Marc, this is an opportunity for them to have helped craft the foundation of this authority with us, and now be able to tackle all of the opportunities and challenges we have before us as our inaugural CEO.” -Nate Caminos, Director of Government Relations for the Port of Seattle and co-chair KCRHA Implementation Board
“I am so happy to welcome Marc Dones as our new CEO. With Marc on board, I believe we can get to work, take action to get people off the street and achieve this through a truly regional response. The Implementation Board is excited to work with Marc and all of our communities countywide to make sure no voice is left out as we move this important work forward.” -Harold Odom, Lived Experience Coalition and co-chair KCRHA Implementation Board