Biden administration appoints local recovery officer

After a short stint leading Snohomish County’s COVID recovery, Mike Fong will serve in the Small Business Administration.

Michael Fong

Michael Fong

EVERETT — Michael Fong, who was hired just a few months ago to oversee Snohomish County’s pandemic response and recovery efforts, is leaving for a job in President Joe Biden’s administration.

The White House announced Thursday that Fong will oversee the Small Business Administration’s Region 10, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

County officials knew Fong was in the running for the job when they hired him as the county’s chief recovery and resiliency officer. Before, he served as a senior deputy mayor for the City of Seattle.

Fong was responsible for deciding how to spend $160 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for the county.

“We figure four months of Mike Fong is better than no Mike Fong,” Snohomish County spokesperson Kent Patton said.

A replacement will likely be identified by mid-December, he added.

The White House announced seven appointees for the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture, saying they will be critical in rebuilding communities affected by the pandemic and climate change.

“They bring deep expertise in their issue areas as well as critical relationships with federal, state, tribal and local leaders,” a news release said. “And, consistent with the President’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, these regional appointees represent the diversity of America and the communities they serve.”

The announcement referenced Fong’s role as the first Chinese-American to serve as a deputy mayor for Seattle.

In his own statement, Fong said he was “deeply honored” by the appointment.

“Small businesses are the engine of our economy and this is an incredible opportunity to support their needs as part of our nation’s recovery from the pandemic,” Fong said. “Working under the leadership of SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, we will advance the Biden/Harris administration’s vision for a healthy, equitable and thriving economy for small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

County Executive Dave Somers said Fong’s change in positions will be good for Snohomish County.

“We are grateful that Michael has helped us organize and launch our Office of Recovery and Resilience,” Somers said. “We know he will continue to serve our community well for years to come.”

Claudia Yaw: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @yawclaudia.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A car breaks and waits for traffic to pass before turning onto 123rd Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Can roundabouts, lower speed limit make 84th Street NE safer?

Maybe, but transportation and disability advocates want design features to make crossing safe.

Two brother bear cubs, burned in a fire last summer, were recently reunited at PAWS in Lynnwood. (PAWS) 20211129
Bear cubs, burned in wildfires, reunited in viral video in Lynnwood

The brother cubs are being treated at PAWS Wildlife Center. They were injured in a wildfire near Lake Chelan.

Madison is one of three aging elementary schools that would be torn down and replaced if the Everett schools bond is passed next year. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Everett school leaders have 2 big levies on February ballot

The district is asking voters to renew a levy for programs and operations, and to pass a $325 million capital and tech levy.

Everett officials have questions about a 125-room hotel shelter

City Council members say they weren’t aware of the county’s proposal until it made headlines.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 identified in deadly T-bone crash in Everett

Otila Retel Azanedo de Jones, 67, and William Jones, 85, died at the scene.

Reagan Dunn to take on U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in 8th District

The Republican is challenging incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier in a district which could include a slice of Snohomish County.

A man died after he was found with gunshot wounds Saturday in downtown Everett. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Man dead after shooting in downtown Everett

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was found near California Street and Rockefeller Avenue.

Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander of Puget Sound-based Carrier Strike Group 11, in Bremerton on Nov. 23, 2021. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Justin McTaggart)
From Everett, this rear admiral commands a Navy strike group

Christopher Sweeney leads Carrier Strike Group 11, a force of aircraft and ships stretching from here to San Diego.

A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend Alisha Garvin as they and other families gather to remember the victims on the third anniversary of the Oso mudslide on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Oso, Wa. Huestis' sister, Christina Jefferds, and her baby granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Funding secured: Mudslide memorial will be a place to remember

Since 2014, families have mourned at a roadside shrine near Oso, but “we knew we needed something bigger.”

Most Read