Seattle City (spot)Light: Katie Ewing, Senior Policy & Project Manager

Katie Ewing brings a passion for economics and public service to help shape policy at City Light.

Celebrating one year at City Light this month, Katie Ewing came to the utility from the City of Seattle City Budget Office (CBO) in January 2020.

“I am a Senior Policy & Project Manager in the General Manager’s Office where I work with Jen Chan, the chief of staff, on different projects and learn about the many operational areas throughout the utility,” Katie shared. “I also help to coordinate work among different units and lend a hand when there is an effort that needs additional help or must be fast tracked. It is a fantastic way to get to know the organization!”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Katie talks about her journey in public service and life on Bainbridge Island.

“I grew up in Indiana and moved to Chicago after undergrad where I fell into the research side of investment banking. That experience showed me that I would prefer to help people in my community rather than work in the private finance sector,” Katie explained. “I always loved the Northwest and thought I would live in Seattle after visiting many times as a kid, so when I decided to go to graduate school, I applied to both the economics Ph.D. program and the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington. I decided to combine my passion for economics and public service and went on to earn master’s degrees from both programs. It turns out that my whole family has slowly migrated out here, so we’re all in the Northwest now!

“I live on Bainbridge Island with my husband and kids. I love having the small town feel for raising my kids, while also being just a ferry ride away from downtown. I could do without the extended power outages that we deal with because of all the vegetation over here, but the greenery is pretty.” Katie shared. “The pandemic has really put a damper on the normal activities, but I have become a part-time first and third grade instructor, so at least I’m gaining a few new skills. I really like to cook, bake, and be active outside as much as I can. Before kids, my husband and I loved playing ultimate frisbee, and the kids are finally getting old enough to share the sport with us which has been fun.

“After working at the City in more centrally positioned financial roles for over 10 years (most recently as the City’s Healthcare and Labor Economist), I wanted to experience the more focused work in department land and have always wanted to work for a public utility. I find the nature of working for a public organization that is funded by rates and the specialized business decisions that accompany this relationship fascinating. City Light’s values of environmental stewardship and leadership as well as its pursuit of innovation are exciting, and I wanted to be a part of it. 

“I love being a part of a community with so much varying expertise committed to delivering an efficient and environmentally responsible product to our customers – us economists are all about efficiency, you know.”