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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 Attorneys 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 Vice President, Compliance and Information Security, 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 Providences 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.

Brendan W. Donckers practices state and federal court litigation at Breskin Johnson and Townsend in Seattle. His practice focuses on consumer protection, civil rights, class actions, and appeals. Mr. Donckers volunteers regularly with the Northwest Justice Project and the King County Bar Associations Housing Justice Project. He is President of the Board of Directors for the Historic South Downtown Community Preservation and Development Authority and represented Pioneer Square on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Programs Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management. Mr. Donckers previously worked as a staff attorney in the Washington Supreme Court Commissioners Office, provided policy counsel to the House Democratic Caucus on environmental issues, and worked on a global security initiative with the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2007 and was the Valedictorian of Santa Clara University in 2002. Mr. Donckers was appointed to the Commission by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council on September 8, 2014.

Eileen Norton is Director of Project Management for Pacific Coast Canola. She previously held several positions in the public sector, including Deputy District Attorney in Yamhill County, Oregon, Assistant City Attorney and Assistant City Auditor for the City of Seattle, and as Assistant General Counsel for the Seattle Monorail Project. Ms. Norton spent 2 years in the Republic of Belau as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She also serves as Board President for Southwest Youth and Family Services and coached high school softball for 6 years. Ms. Norton earned her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and her J.D. from the University of Oregon. Ms. Norton was appointed to the Commission by the City Council and was confirmed on September 8, 2014.

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 Associations 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 can continue 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 October 6, 2014.

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