King County Executive Dow Constantine today praised DCHS Director Adrienne Quinn for her contributions to King County after she accepted an offer to be a Distinguished Practitioner at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance.
Her accomplishments at King County include leading the development of Executive Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative, creating a system to measure the performance of service providers, and applying the principles of Results Based Accountability. Researchers at the Washington, D.C.-based Results for America recently praised King County’s revolutionary approach to creating community partnerships.
“I am not surprised that the University of Washington’s prestigious Evans School selected Adrienne Quinn, given her exceptional performance as a member of my Cabinet and throughout her career in public service,” said Executive Constantine. “When I came into office, I wanted to transform community and human services so that we focused not just on good intentions but on delivering measurable outcomes for the people of King County. Thanks to Adrienne’s leadership, that is exactly what we have achieved."
Quinn, who Executive Constantine appointed as the director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services in 2013, will teach executive leadership on managing people at nonprofits and public agencies, confronting homelessness, and promoting social justice.
Quinn launched the Homeless Management Information System, which provides the public with transparent and accurate data on homelessness throughout King County. She also partnered with King County Information Technology and Public Health – Seattle & King County to create a data hub that integrates data from the homelessness system, the behavioral health database, and the Medicaid claims database.
“The Evans School is so fortunate to have Adrienne join our faculty this fall, bringing her experience as a strategic and visionary leader in various public and nonprofit organizations into our classrooms, for the benefit of our students,” said Sandra O. Archibald, Dean of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. “I know she will play an invaluable role as an educator, thoughtfully preparing the next generation of leaders to launch their public service careers.”
King County voters in 2015 approved Executive Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative, which Quinn designed to invest in prevention and early intervention strategies that promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families and communities. It is considered the most comprehensive approach to childhood development in the nation, starting with prenatal support, sustaining the gain through teenage years, and investing in safe, healthy communities that reinforce progress.
Quinn also led the design for the renewed Mental Illness and Drug Dependency tax, which provides critical resources for behavioral health, therapeutic courts, and programs that reduce involvement in the criminal justice and emergency medical systems. In 2017, voters approved the expanded Veterans, Seniors and Human Services levy, delivering on Executive Constantine's commitment to offer more services to the most vulnerable in King County, including the region’s rapidly growing older adult population.
Quinn previously served as the executive director at the Medina Foundation, where she worked with human service providers in homeless housing, domestic violence programs, food distribution systems, and youth development programs in 14 counties throughout Western Washington. Before that, she served as vice president for public policy and government relations for Enterprise Community Partners in Washington, D.C., and as director of the City of Seattle's Office of Housing.
Quinn graduated magna cum laude from the Seattle University School of Law in 1996. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor of arts in history from College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. She has received a number of awards in her career, including being named one of Washington's Top 50 Women Lawyers in 2006.
Her last day as the director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services will be Nov. 1.