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Commissioner Biographies

Here are the current members of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission:

Bill Sherman, Chair, is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Seattle University School of Law. He has practiced in the areas of civil litigation and election law at The Sherman Law Firm, PLLC, and previously served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for King County and as an associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLC. Mr. Sherman earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan, where he was editor-in-chief of the Michigan Law Review. He was appointed by the Mayor in 2009, reappointed in 2011, and is serving a term that expires December 31, 2014.

Brad Axel is a shareholder at the law firm Stokes Lawrence, P.S., where his practice focuses in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property. He is a past chair of the Antitrust and Consumer Protection Section of the Washington State Bar Association and has served on the executive committee of the state chapter of the Sierra Club. Mr. Axel currently sits on the Northwest Advisory Committee of American Rivers. He earned his B.A. from Stanford University in 1990, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1995. Mr. Axel was appointed to the Commission by the Mayor and was confirmed by the City Council on January 22, 2013. His term expires December 31, 2015.

Bruce Carter is a 1968 graduate of the Stanford law School who was previously graduated from the University of Washington in Economics. He retired from the United States Attorney’s Office in 2001, having specialized in prosecuting criminal public corruption, fraud and elections law cases. More recently he served as a Municipal Court Judge pro tem. He was previously a Board member of the Municipal League of King County where he served as Board Chair in 2008. Mr. Carter was appointed by the City Council in 2012 to a term that expires December 31, 2014.

Rich Cohan is the System Director of Integrity and Compliance as well as the Chief Privacy Officer for Providence Health and Services. He has worked on ethics and compliance issues since 1998, when he was named the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for a health care provider in Fort Collins, Colorado. In his spare time, he volunteers with Providence’s Senior and Community Services, and has volunteered with Jewish Family Services, both located in Seattle. Mr. Cohan was appointed by the other six Commissioners and was confirmed by the City Council for a second term on January 22, 2013. His term expires December 31, 2015.

Lorena González is an attorney with Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, and a 2005 honors graduate of Seattle University School of Law. She is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, and the first and only attorney in her family. Ms. González is a Past President of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington's (LBAW) Board of Directors and was a member of that board from 2003-2008. In 2004, she was the recipient of LBAW's Outstanding Member of the Year award and was the youngest member and the only law student in the history of LBAW to receive that award. In 2009, the Hispanic National Bar Association recognized her as one of seven Top Lawyers Under 40 in the country. The WSBA's Civil Rights Section awarded González its Distinguished Service Award in 2010, and in 2012 she was honored by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation at their Night Among Heroes for her work in the courtroom and community. Ms. González was appointed by the City Council in 2012 and is serving a term that expires December 31, 2013.

David Mendoza works as a Policy Counsel for the Washington State House of Representatives. His committee assignments include the Labor & Workforce Development and Government Accountability and Oversight Committees. The latter committee oversees gambling, liquor and marijuana regulations. Prior to joining the House, he worked for 5 years as a Research and Policy Analyst at two organizations. He started in 2007 at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and beginning in 2010 for Puget Sound Sage in Seattle. Both organizations work to address inequities in the workplace and the environment. He is a 2007 graduate from Seattle University School of Law and currently serves as President-elect of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. Before starting law school, he worked as a Volunteer Manager for a homeless services agency in Pasadena, CA. He received his B.A. in History from Pitzer College. Mr. Mendoza also serves on the Seattle Freight Advisory Board. He was appointed to the Ethics and Elections Commission by the Mayor and was confirmed by the City Council to a term that expires December 31, 2013.

Kendee Yamaguchi serves on the executive management team for the Washington State Department of Commerce. She is the Assistant Director of Local Government and Infrastructure and serves as the Executive Director to both the Community Economic Revitalization Board and the Public Works Board. Yamaguchi works with over 600 units of local government and manages a wide range of programs. Prior to this position, she was a member of the senior leadership team at the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. Previously, she was a Small Agency Cabinet Member for the Governor and a director in the Office of Management and Administration at the White House. She has experience working as a television executive, a staff member in the Legislature and an attorney in private practice. She is the recipient of awards from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Loren Miller Bar Association and the Access to Justice Institute. She has also served as a Board member of the Municipal League of King County and on the Washington State Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee. Yamaguchi earned her B.A. in political science and public communications with a minor in international affairs from American University and a J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law. She is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (PPIA). Ms. Yamaguchi was appointed to the Commission by the City Council and was confirmed by the City Council on September 4, 2012. Her term expires December 31, 2015.

Please note that a Commissioner whose term has expired continues to serve until a new appointment is made by the appropriate authority and confirmed by the City Council.

For staff information, see Contact Us.

Last updated April 22, 2013.

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