Public Health & Social Services Director

Thurston County, Washington

Salary: $121,548 – $162,060


Home to more than 290,000 residents, Thurston County, Washington, is 60 miles south of Seattle. Majestic Mount Rainier and the rugged Cascade Mountains are nearby to the east, while the Pacific Coast is just an hour’s drive to the west. As the county’s largest city, Olympia is the state capital and the county seat. Thurston County is home to a wide variety of industries, including state government, health care, retail, military, education, construction, farming, fishing, logging and has an active arts community. With an economic engine fueled to a great extent by state government, as well as three higher education institutions, Olympia enjoys the benefits of a stable workforce, an engaged and educated community, and a well-supported school system.


Thurston County’s Public Health & Social Services (PHSS) Department is responsible for providing foundational public health services and critical social programs. The department is governed by the County’s Board of Health and Board of County Commissioners. The Thurston County Board of Health is comprised of the three currently elected Thurston County Commissioners. The department’s primary divisions include Community Wellness, Maternal and Child Health, Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Incident Management, Environmental Health, Vital Services, the Office of Housing and Homeless Prevention, and the Treatment Sales Tax Office. The department’s 2022 allocated budget is $77 million. Currently, the department has 135 employees.


Reporting directly to the County Manager, the Public Health & Social Services (PHSS) Director is responsible for organizing and directing the services, operations, fiscal and administrative functions of the PHSS Department. The Director ensures the efficient and effective utilization of personnel, funds, materials, facilities, and time, and accomplishes short-term and long-range planning. This position also implements and maintains sound organizational practices, controls costs, and directs all departmental operations. The PHSS Director assures proper distribution of assets and liabilities, assignments of grants and contracts, and negotiation of agreements with other local governments.


A master’s degree in public health, social services, business or public administration, or a closely related field, and 6 years of administrative and/or managerial work at the senior management level, associated with public health and/or social services, and at least 3 years of significant supervisory responsibilities is required. The ideal candidate will have experience in a similar-sized public health organization as the director or deputy director, have demonstrated success in managing professional public health teams, and will bring strong management skills and a forward-thinking approach.


For a complete position profile, full job description and to apply online, visit Prothman at https://www.prothman.com/, click on “Open Recruitments” and then click the position title. For questions, call 206-368-0050. Thurston County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. First review of applications: June 19, 2022 (open until filled).