On Thursday, the White House announced that Mike Fong, a veteran Seattle politician, will become the new director of the US Small Business Administration’s 10th Seattle office.
Fong, who stepped down as deputy mayor of Seattle in August to oversee Snohomish County’s post-pandemic recovery, will now oversee federal efforts to rebuild small businesses in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and this is an incredible opportunity to meet their needs as part of our nation’s recovery from the pandemic,” Fong said in a statement.
Fong has worked in local government since 2001, starting as a Seattle City Council officer, and has held political and leadership positions since then, according to Fong’s LinkedIn page.
He served as chief of staff for former Mayor Ed Murray until 2017. After a three-month tenure as Chief Operating Officer for King Fong County, he became Deputy Mayor under Jenny Durcan, where he led the Mayor’s Office.
Born and raised in Spokane, Fong was the first Chinese American to serve as deputy mayor of Seattle, according to a White House statement.
Most recently, as Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer for Snohomish County, he spearheaded “efforts to prioritize the region’s $ 160 million in US Rescue Plan Act funds for post-pandemic recovery,” according to the White House.
The SBA has been involved in key parts of the federal response to the pandemic, including the Payroll Protection Program and the Restaurant Recovery Fund. These programs are widely viewed as critical to the recovery effort, but are also criticized as slow and underfunded.
Seattle’s business leaders welcomed Phong’s appointment to the SBA.
“Over the past two years, Mike Fong has dedicated himself to leading our community through the pandemic and ensuring that the public sector deliberately sets the stage for a sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic recovery,” said Rachel Smith, President and CEO. Seattle subway. “This includes providing small businesses with the resources and support they need.”
Fong succeeded Jeremy Field, who left the agency in January.
FIX: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Fong is replacing Kerry Heard. Hurd is the director of the SBA’s Seattle area office.