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Court Administrator

Position Description

The Seattle Municipal Court is recruiting for a strategic, collaborative leader committed to equity and social justice to lead the administrative and operational functions of the court. The Court Administrator guides the court’s work, ensuring alignment with the court’s mission to provide a forum to resolve alleged violations of the law in a respectful, independent and impartial manner. The court is committed to the health and safety of the court and our justice partners. 

The Court Administrator is responsible for leading all administrative and operational functions of the Seattle Municipal Court, allocating resources in a manner that maximizes efficiency in court operations and enhances service to the public. The successful candidate will be central to the court’s ongoing efforts to create a high-performance culture that embraces diversity, dismantles institutional racism and delivers desired outcomes with and for the communities we serve. 

The successful candidate will serve as Project Sponsor and oversee the implementation of a multi-million-dollar, multi-year replacement of the court’s legacy case management system. The Court Administrator serves as the court’s operations executive and guides a staff of 220 employees and oversees an annual operating budget of over $38 million.


Job Responsibilities

Appointed by the judges, the Court Administrator is responsible for all court operations with accountability for the people, programs, resources, services, and systems that support the work of the court. The Court Administrator reports to the Presiding Judge and leads the Executive Leadership Team.

The accountabilities of the Court Administrator include:

  • Champion racial and social equity. Articulates a shared vision for the court with race and social justice as core organizing principles that advance the court’s values of justice, integrity, and fairness. Collaborates with stakeholders and community to guide court programs and ensure accountability.
  • Lead strategic initiatives. Assures the work of the court is aligned, efficient, equitable, and integrated in forwarding organizational values and objectives. Closely coordinates with the judges to develop strategy and an annual work plan and lead executive leadership in implementation.
  • Commit to teamwork and transparency. Seeks to solve problems and create innovative ideas through collaborative teamwork. Engages in a continuous and consistent flow of communication regarding the work of the court within the organization, among branches of city government, with the community and with justice partners.
  • Hold self and others accountable. Establishes and consistently communicates expected outcomes and standards. Develops plans of action with executive leadership and lines of business and holds the organization accountable for achieving identified performance outcomes. Speaks truth to power with self-awareness of personal bias and the divergent interests and experiences of the community.
  • Facilitate effective and efficient court operations. Directs "best in class" administrative and operational functions that demonstrate excellence in budgeting and fiscal management; program and project planning; service delivery; community outreach; data integrity and records management; and performance-based management.
  • Invest in partnerships. Collaborates with community stakeholders, city partners, and the judicial and legal communities to increase access to justice. Maintains and expands strong relationships with other courts throughout the region. Represents the court with government stakeholders, the judicial community, community activists, executive-level leadership with non-profits, and other key stakeholders.
  • Promote program management excellence. Manages all business functions and compliance activities, including improving processes, streamlining reporting, and meaningfully engaging stakeholders to transform the system and improve outcomes.
  • Inspire a culture of excellence. Establishes performance benchmarks, designs and implements quality controls, and cultivates leadership through systematic professional development for staff.


The successful candidate will be a strategic, compassionate, innovative, and experienced leader with a demonstrated commitment to equity and success in judicial administration. Their work must be centered in racial and social justice and demonstrate strong operational ability as well as a deep understanding of the criminal justice system. The ideal candidate has led a judicial, legal, or regulatory organization through significant change. Strategic management, effective communications and relationship building will all be required to effectively lead and advocate for the court. The candidate must have a reputation for exercising a high level of tact, good judgment, discretion, and diplomacy and have cooperative working relationships with diverse groups of people. Additionally, the successful candidate must have the ability to:

  • Manage complex agency, community, and political relationships
  • Effectively resolve conflicts to the benefit of all parties
  • Build strategic and trusted partnerships
  • Facilitate strategic planning and lead major change projects
  • Influence strategic partners and stakeholders
  • Cultivate a work culture that embraces transparency and accountability

Success in the role requires technical expertise in the administration and operations of a large public agency, knowledge of the criminal justice system and leadership experience working in a political environment.

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Additional Information

Currently, this position will be performed by a combination of remote and onsite work under the court’s COVID-19 response plan. The court provides equipment and resources to support telework. Court leadership currently rotates onsite work biweekly. The court expects the Court Administrator to be readily available to report to onsite work in Seattle as operational needs require and the court expands operations.

Please submit the following with your online application:

  • A cover letter in which you clearly describe how your knowledge, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and qualifications outlined in the job announcement. Please discuss how equity and social justice center your professional practice.
  • A resume of your educational and professional work experience.

Please submit your application, resume, and cover letter to If you have questions, please contact Pam Inch, Senior Executive Recruiter at

This position is open to all qualified applicants. The Seattle Municipal Court values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Court encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans and those with diverse life experiences.

Due to the fiduciary nature of the work, job offers are contingent on a background investigation which includes review of criminal history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process. In compliance with Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17 applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.

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