Fred Kiga is regarded as a heavy hitter in political circles. For the past four years, he’s been the Tacoma-based Russell Group’s go-to guy in
government and community matters. Before that, he was chief of staff for Gov. Gary Locke. He’s also a member of the University of Washington Board of Regents.
Now he’s picked up even heavier clout – as a newly-hired top political operative for the Boeing Co. (The old saying in Olympia is that if a bill dies for no discernible reason, Boeing is against it.)
Kiga’s commute from Seattle to his Russell post in Tacoma ended earlier this month when he became director of state and local government relations for Boeing. He’ll work for Bob Watt, Boeing’s vice president for government relations and global citizenship. Acquaintances say he’s probably being groomed to succeed Watt.
I got to know Kiga during a stint as a fellow board member of the Pierce County Reading Foundation. He’s one sharp guy, with a strong social conscience as well. Part of his role at Russell was directing the company’s corporate emphasis on charitable giving and community involvement. Like Russell CEO Craig Ueland, Kiga was keen on wanting to see real results from the company’s civic and charitable efforts.
It was good having Kiga in Tacoma. No word yet on his successor at Russell.
Read Boeing’s news release on Kiga’s appointment here.