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I share with you the sad news that Shan Mullin died at his home in Seattle on Wednesday, February 21. His loss will be felt deeply throughout UW Medicine and the broader Seattle community.

Shan served on the UW Medicine Board for nine years (2004-2013), including a two-year term as Board Chair. After stepping down from the Board due to term limits, he continued to serve UW Medicine as a community member on the Patient Safety and Quality Committee.

Shan contributed to our success by sharing his expertise as a corporate attorney at Perkins Coie and his tremendous heart as a trusted advisor, consensus builder and great friend.

“Shan was a builder — a builder of organizations,” said Rich Jones, a current member of the UW Medicine Board, in speaking about their long friendship and volunteer leadership roles with UW Medicine and other community organizations. “He brought people together and brought out the best in them by treating everyone with respect and by focusing on the common good.”

As a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Board, Shan was part of a small group of leaders from UW Medicine, Fred Hutch and Seattle Children’s that established the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in 1998. He also served as the first chair of the UW Medicine Compliance Committee and helped establish our culture of compliance both as a national model and as a responsibility shared by each of us.

At Perkins Coie, Shan was a partner in the firm’s corporate practice. He had more than 45 years of experience in domestic and international business transactions, joint ventures, technology licensing and franchising, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate law. In his legal practice, he worked with clients on projects and ventures in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia, Latin America and Canada.

As a young associate at Perkins Coie, Shan began working with United Way of King County and ultimately helped the branch’s charitable campaign become one of the largest in the country. Quite remarkably, when he became United Way Board Chair, he was following in the footsteps of his father who had previously held the same role.

Shan served many other community organizations in leadership roles, including the Alliance for Education, which he co-founded, Municipal League of King County, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, University of Washington Law School Foundation, and Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.

Along with numerous local honors, Shan received the National Nonprofit Director of the Year in 2009 for his community leadership. Although he was always the first to recognize and thank others, this award was a fitting capstone to his years of service. I had the honor of being with Shan and his family when he received the award at a dinner in Washington D.C., and I know how much it meant to him.

On behalf of the UW Medicine Board, I want to extend our deep sympathy to Shan’s wife, Lee, and their four children. As Rich Jones said, “We have all lost a true friend and one of the finest people we ever met. The world is a little less bright today.”

Let us join together in honoring Shan’s memory and preserving his rich legacy through our mission and continued work to improve the health of the public.


Paul G. Ramsey, MD

CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington 

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