OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today named Lisa van der Lugt director of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Van der Lugt has served as acting director since December when Uriel Iniguez resigned to take a position with the Department of Labor and Industries.
Prior to joining the commission, van der Lugt served as manager of the state efficiency and environmental performance program at the Department of Enterprise Services. Her extensive experience in state government includes directing special projects for Results Washington, serving as special assistant to Inslee and working as federal and small business liaison at the Employment Security Department. Van der Lugt also served as chief of staff to Melinda Gates at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and worked for Inslee when he was a member of Congress.
“Lisa is a great choice for this role. In addition to her years of experience, she has deep roots and working knowledge of issues that impact the Hispanic community. She grew up in Yakima and I know that she understands the needs of all Washingtonians in each corner of this state,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Lisa will work hard every day to make our state more inclusive and ensure that the needs of the Hispanic community are heard and met.”
“Lisa brings a passion for our community with strong experience in public policy and government. I look forward to working together with Lisa to advance issues that are important to Latinos,” Andres Mantilla, Chair of the Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
“We need leaders like Lisa who care deeply for our community and are able to bring diverse stakeholders together in open dialogue and collaboration that address real-life situations,“ said CEO of SeaMar Community Health Centers and University of Washington Regent Rogelio Riojas. “Additionally, Lisa’s strong public policy, outreach and organizational management skills will serve the commission well. I look forward to continuing our partnership with the Commission on Hispanic Affairs.”
“Lisa is a trusted and a well-respected Latina who grew up in the Yakima Valley. She was raised in an activist home, where farm-worker rights and early childhood education were championed at the local, state and federal level. Lisa can be counted on to bring people together to find solutions to difficult problems,” said former state Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez-Kenney. “Now, more than ever, we need someone in this role who can ensure that those most vulnerable in our community are protected from current efforts that could jeopardize their well-being.”
“I am very pleased to hear of the governor’s appointment of Lisa,” said Jesus Sanchez, senior vice president of economic development and government affairs for SeaMar Community Health Centers. “Her experience at the state and congressional level, and understanding political processes and administrative functions, will serve the office of CHA and the Latino community well. As a former director in Gov. Inslee’s cabinet, I worked with Lisa and know well the strengths and abilities she brings to this office.”
Van der Lugt attended Central Washington University and is active in alumni activities. She serves on the Washington State Business Diversity Subcabinet for Inslee, the Washington State Adult Education Advisory Council and the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission. She is an adviser to the Latino Leadership Network for Washington state employees.