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Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions is searching for a Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs. This position advises and partners with the Agency Director and Executive Team on regulatory and legal issues related to financial institutions regulations.


Salary: $93,036.00 - $160,308.00


As the agency Director's direct report for Administrative Procedure Act issues and adjudications, this position provides well researched and considered opinions and policy advice to the Director and the agency Executive Management Team. This position, as the agency Director's direct report for legal issues, takes a leadership role in analysis and adjudication to accomplish the agency's statutory missions, and to identify and effectively manage internal and external risks and opportunities, both administrative and regulatory.


The Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs provides opinions and policy advice to the Director and the agency Executive Management Team. This position supports effective communications throughout the organization and maintains the highest standards of personal/professional and ethical conduct and support of the State's goals for a diverse workforce.

This position is the agency Director's primary analytical advisor and the senior in-house advisor to the Director of the Division of Banks, the Director of the Division of Credit Unions, and other agency division Directors as needed. Acts as the in-house advisor and contact as to matters involving the Attorney General's Office. However, unless otherwise directed by the agency Director, the incumbent does not participate in initial enforcement decisions, so as to not affect impartiality in the conduct of research and background reviews and the making of recommendations to the agency director on final orders, petitions for review and petitions for reconsideration in adjudicative matters.

The incumbent in this position acts as a liaison between the agency and the Office of Administrative Hearings with respect to the procedural administration of agency-initiated adjudicative matters. The position also works with the agency Director, Deputy Director, Policy Director, and/or division Directors on select legislative drafting and/or negotiation related to agency-request legislation and industry-request legislation. The position also takes an active role in agency rulemaking when requested by the various DFI Division Directors.

Additionally, the position ensures agency compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act (Ch. 34.05 RCW) when promulgating regulations, provides policy and analysis to the agency Director and the agency both with respect to general policy issues and specific regulatory and stakeholder issues. The position negotiates on behalf of the agency Director to resolve specific delegated issues.

Pursuant to agency-wide delegations from the agency head, this position has decision-making responsibilities and full authority to make:

  • Statutory interpretation and enforcement issue resolutions.
  • Policy recommendations and decisions.
  • Responses to the Governor's Office and other public officials.

This position reports only to the agency Director and brings major statutory or regulatory interpretation decisions to the Director for approval.

The Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs does not directly control any budget dollars. However, the position does have significate influence and impact on the operating budget through responsibilities attendant to risk management and financial impact of regulatory or adjudicated decisions, direct or indirect, which could be in the millions of dollars to companies and the public.

The above list is not necessarily inclusive of all the duties required of this position.

The position is a member of and participates on the agency's Executive Management Team.

This position is exempt and reports to the agency Director.


Candidate Profile

DFI is most interested in candidates who meet the following criteria:

  • Holds a Juris Doctorate degree and is a member in good standing in the Washington State Bar Association. These are required qualifications (bar admission and good standing in another state bar association where there is reciprocity with the State of Washington will be considered).
  • Federal banking regulation experience and/or depository law and experience.
  • Experience working within the financial industry, or experience having represented clients or agencies connected with the financial industry.
  • Experience with emerging fin-tech issues and experience with securities regulation.
  • Experience with writing legal decisions and/or litigation.
  • Broad knowledge of state and federal laws, rules, and regulations that apply to the financial industry.
  • Strong analytical skills to synthesize, explain and resolve complex interpretive issues involving the application of numerous federal and state statutes and regulations.
  • Regulatory experience with programs designed to ensure the protection of the depositing pubic in financial institutions.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with the activities and operations of commercial banks, bank holding companies, credit unions, mutual/stock savings banks, trust companies, savings and loans, foreign banks, SBA lenders and business development corporations.
  • Excellent public speaking, active listening, presentation, and written communication skills.
  • Hands-on negotiation and mediation experience skills.
  • Ability to travel to conferences, and other venues to represent the agency as needed by the Director.
  • Supports diversity, equity and inclusion to create a culture and environment at DFI that fosters employee well-being and growth.
  • Strong political savvy and skills including negotiating and consensus building skills to navigate and successfully work with stakeholders and legislators on legislation and policy issues.
  • Ability to multi-task working with problems in numerous diverse areas.
  • Ability to partner with the agency Director taking initiative on assignments and complete projects.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software such as Word, Excel, and Outlook.

While this position will be based in Olympia/Tumwater, a hybrid work schedule with some teleworking opportunities will be available to the incumbent.

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