Former Snohomish County official to lead WA Department of Commerce

Mike Fong oversaw county’s pandemic recovery efforts in 2021. He’ll take the reins of large state agency next month.

Mike Fong

Mike Fong

OLYMPIA — Michael Fong, a regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration and former Snohomish County official, was named Wednesday as the next director of the state Department of Commerce.

Fong, a native of Spokane, has held the federal post since January 2022. Before that he worked for Snohomish County, overseeing its pandemic response and recovery effort. He also worked a stint as a senior deputy mayor for the City of Seattle.

“Mike has a wide breadth of experience managing major progressive economic development programs on behalf of Washingtonians, and building successful coalitions,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press release. “He has the integrity and the skill set required to lead the Department of Commerce and to deliver on the agency’s expansive mission of strengthening communities.”

Though Fong worked less than a year for Snohomish County, he made a strong impression on his boss.

“Mike Fong has the rare ability to combine compassion and strong leadership in everything he does,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement. “He cares about all of our communities, both small and large, and wants to see families thrive. He is the leader Washington needs right now for the Department of Commerce.”

Fong replaces Lisa Brown, who left the post earlier this year and is now running for mayor of Spokane. He will begin work for the state May 8.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A semi-truck rolled over blocking all traffic lanes Thursday morning on I-5 north just south of Arlington on Sept. 21, 2023. (Washington State Patrol)
Overturned trailer spills fish onto I-5 near Arlington, closing lanes

The crash blocked all lanes, forcing drivers going north during rush hour to use the left shoulder.

The Marysville Municipal Jail is pictured Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Marysville weighs mandatory jail time for repeated ‘public disorder’

The “three strikes” proposal sets a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail for crimes like public drug use and trespassing.

Everett police on patrol heard gunshots near 26th Street and Lombard Avenue and closed off multiple roads as they investigated on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Everett Police Department)
3 teens arrested after gunfire in downtown Everett

No one was injured. Police heard gunfire in the area of 26th Street and Lombard Avenue.

It’s time to celebrate and say thanks

Local journalism — and community support — will be the stars of Behind the News Stories on Oct. 24 in Edmonds.

Most Read