UW Appoints Dick Thompson Interim AD

Seattle - University of Washington President Lee L. Huntsman announced today the appointment of Dick Thompson, retiring director of government relations at the UW, as interim director of intercollegiate athletics. Thompson succeeds Barbara Hedges, who announced her retirement today, effective Jan. 16. Thompson will take over Jan. 17.

Thompson brings a distinguished record of executive management to the athletic director position. Before joining the UW as government relations director in 1999, he served as the director of the state's Office of Financial Management (1997-99), chief of staff to Governor Booth Gardner (1987-89), secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services (1989-92), director of the state's Department of Community Development (1985-87), and president and chief professional officer of United Way of King County (1993-97). He also served as city manager or city attorney for the cities of Snohomish, Everett, and Puyallup from 1970 to 1985.

"We are very fortunate to have someone of Dick's abilities willing to step in and assume this important position on an interim basis," said Huntsman. "His administrative and leadership skills will enable the department to move forward while we conduct the search for Barbara's successor. Dick has a genuine appreciation of the student-athlete and a concern for the student learning experience. He also happens to value athletics highly and the role it plays in the development of our students."

Thompson is a native of Everett, Wash. He holds a B.A. in political science from Western Washington University and a J.D. from the UW School of Law. In addition to his service as government relations director, Thompson has been an affiliate professor in the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs since 1994.

Thompson's appointment will last until a new athletic director is in place. His annualized salary will be $220,000.

Barbara Hedges on Thompson's Appointment:

"I could not have picked a better person to serve as the interim athletic director than Dick Thompson. He has a tremendous amount of experience managing a number of organizations. I've known Dick for a number of years and he's a tremendous person and will do a terrific job of managing the program until a full-time appointment is made. I wish him all the luck and will be available if he ever needs my assistance with any matters."

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