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Seattle City (spot)Light: Ellen Moskito Smiley, Budget and Financial Policy Advisor

Ellen and her boys

The Basics  

  • Years of service: It will be 15 years in January. 
  • Division: Customer Energy Solutions (CES) 
  • Tell us about your role: I develop and monitor the operating and capital budgets for CES. I also guide and support division leaders and program managers on all financial/budgetary matters.   


  • Hometown: Juneau, Alaska (where it rains more than in Seattle! I have quite a few childhood friends who live in Seattle or passing through, so we like to get together for mini reunions). 
  • Alma Mater: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
  • Area of study: Accounting, managerial finance, and anthropology 
  • Tell us about your family: I have two amazing boys, Henry (10) and Quinn (6). They keep me very busy with their many interests and activities and make me laugh every day with the funny things they say and do. We spend a lot of time with my older brother and his family, who live in Seattle. 
    My younger brother and parents live in Las Vegas; we visit them several times a year. I also have a lot of family in the Bay Area (my mom’s side is huge!) and recently traveled there to celebrate my grandmother’s 103rd birthday! 

Just for Fun 

  • What’s one thing that has surprised you about working at City Light? I’ve met so many smart, amazing people and have formed many close friendships. Some are still here while others have left for other City departments, are retired or working elsewhere. It’s been special to celebrate professional achievements and important life events with them. 
  • Are you an early bird or a night owl? Growing up, my mom never let me sleep (she thought it was a sign of laziness), so I’ve always been an early bird. I’m one of those people who wakes up at the same time every day, even if I stayed up late the night before.   
  • What was the last song you listened to? “Butter” by BTS. My 10-year-old is big into K-Pop right now, and he plays this song all the time.  
  • What’s one of your biggest accomplishments? Just being able to juggle a household, raise two boys, work a full-time job, be active in my kids’ school and activities, and have a little time on my own is a big accomplishment, especially during a pandemic. I’m exhausted, but it’s all worthwhile. 
  • What is your idea of a perfect day? A night of uninterrupted sleep, getting a workout in, kids not fighting, not having to clean or cook all day, having nowhere to be, soaking in the hot tub followed by a glass of wine and a good book sounds pretty perfect to me!