Seattle mayor appoints the city's first cabinet-level 'director of homelessness'

SEATTLE -- Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday that he has appointed George Scarola the city's first director of homelessness -- a new, cabinet-level position.

"Because of the growing scope of work around homelessness, Seattle needs a proven manager to ensure we are achieving our desired outcomes," Murray said in a news release. "I have known George for many years, working alongside him in Seattle and Olympia, and know him as a unifying leader that excels at creating successful results through community engagement.”

Murray said Scarola will be responsible for leading the city’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement. He will be paid an annual salary of $137,500.

From 1992 to 1998, Scarola led the Sand Point Community Housing Project as executive director, which converted housing at the Sand Point Naval Air Station into homes for unsheltered youth, adults, and families

In the early 2000s, Scarola served as a top aide to state Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and was executive director of the Washington House Democratic Campaign Committee for the 2002 election. More recently, Scarola served the League of Education Voters as legislative director from 2003 to 2012.

This year, Scarola returned from Hefei, China, where he was lecturing at the University of Science and Technology of China.