We are pleased to announce that Sommer Kleweno Walley has been named as Harborview’s new Chief Executive Officer. In accordance with UW Medicine’s contract with King County for the management of Harborview, Sommer’s appointment was recommended by UW Medicine and approved today in a vote by the Harborview Board of Trustees, as the representative authority of King County.
Sommer’s selection follows an extensive, competitive, and inclusive national search process. During interviews with numerous stakeholders, including managers, medical directors, direct reports, labor partners, and community members, Sommer emerged as the preferred candidate for her incredible devotion to Harborview’s mission and her bold vision for the future.
Sommer brings a unique perspective to the CEO role, serving in both clinical and administrative roles during her 24 years with Harborview. She began her Harborview career in 1997 as a speech language pathologist. After serving in many leadership positions across the organization, she joined Harborview’s Executive Team in 2017 when she was promoted to Senior Associate Administrator for SEICS (Surgical, Emergent, Integrated Clinical Services).
Since her appointment as Interim Chief Executive Officer in December 2020, Sommer has demonstrated remarkable and steady leadership as UW Medicine faculty and staff at Harborview continue their leading role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite many challenges over the last year, Sommer remained focused on Harborview’s mission to serve the most vulnerable members of our community and improve health outcomes for historically underserved populations. Her work to acknowledge and work to remedy institutional racism and unconscious bias that contributes to significant health disparities in our community illustrates her commitment to eliminating race-based inequities. Sommer is similarly focused on creating a safe and supportive environment for every employee, as well as continuing strong working relationships with Harborview’s labor partners.
Sommer’s vision for Harborview’s future includes continuing to work closely with the King County Executive and King County Council on planning new facilities that King County voters overwhelmingly approved in a historic vote last November. With funding from the $1.74 billion bond measure, Harborview will have an opportunity to expand and upgrade our region’s only Level I trauma and burn center, including with a new medical tower with single patient rooms, as well as provide more resources to meet the acute need for additional mental health services in Seattle and King County.
Please join us in congratulating Sommer on her new role. We look forward to her continued leadership and success in support of Harborview’s community and mission.
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Washington
President, Harborview Board of Trustees