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Pierce County selects Jennifer Joly as government relations director, replacing longtime county lobbyist George Walk

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Oct. 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm with No Comments »
October 23, 2012 9:43 am

Jennifer Joly has worked in state government, both the executive and legislative branches, for 20 years and until she resigned to take the job with Pierce County served as the chair of the state Public Disclosure Commission.

While her appointment to lead the government relations office for the county must be confirmed by the council, that is considered ministerial. She was chosen by a committee that included County Executive Pat McCarthy, Council Chairwoman Joyce McDonald and Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Jennifer Joly

“This is a very important position that works on Pierce County’s priorities with decision makers at every level of government,” McCarthy said in a statement sent out today.

Joly, who has lived in Tacoma for a decade, will replace longtime liaison George Walk, a former state legislator who ran the government relations operation for 22 years before retiring in June. Joly will represent the county with other government entities, especially the state and federal governments.

After graduating from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University) in 1993, Joly went to work with the Legislative Transportation Committee as an analyst. In 1997 she took the first of three positions with then-Gov. Gary Locke. She was transportation policy advisor, legislative liaison and counsel.

She was a PDC commissioner for two years and is a board member of YMCA Youth and Government and Group Health Cooperative.

Here’s the county press release announcing the appointment…

County selects Jennifer Joly to lead government relations

Jennifer Joly, an experienced policy advisor for the Washington Legislature and the Governor’s Office, has been selected as head of government relations for Pierce County.

Joly was selected by a panel of county officials that included Executive Pat McCarthy, Council Chair Joyce McDonald and Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Joly succeeds George Walk, who retired in June after 22 years of representing Pierce County’s interests with state, federal and local governments.

“This is a very important position that works on Pierce County’s priorities with decision makers at every level of government,” McCarthy said. “Jennifer brings a depth of experience that ensures Pierce County will continue to have a strong voice in Olympia and Washington, D.C. on transportation, public safety and other issues that are crucial to our community.”

Joly, a Tacoma resident for the last 10 years, has spent her career in a variety of key positions in Olympia. She served then-Gov. Gary Locke as transportation policy advisor, legislative director and eventually as general counsel. Before that, she served as counsel to the state House of Representatives during the time when every leadership position was shared by Democrats and Republicans due to a 49-49 tie. She started her career as legal counsel and research analyst for the state Legislative Transportation Committee.

“I love this community,” Joly said, “and I am looking forward to using my experience in the executive and legislative branches to help Pierce County meet its policy goals.”

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a law degree from Seattle University. She recently resigned her position as chair of the state Public Disclosure Commission so she could take the Pierce County job. She still serves as one of 11 trustees on Group Health Cooperative’s board of directors.

Joly’s appointment is on the County Council’s consent agenda for its 3 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

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