Lowry names Tony Orange executive director of African American Affairs Commission

OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry today named Seattle resident Tony Orange executive director of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs.

Orange, 48, coordinates a stakeholder listening project for the Region 4 Community Services Division Administrator of the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Prior to that, he served for a year as acting director of the Central Area Youth Association in Seattle and was staff assistant to the Seattle Human Rights Commission from 1988 to 1994.

"Tony has a long history of involvement in the African-American community and has worked hard his entire career for equal opportunity for all people," Lowry said. "His background in education, community service and public administration will serve him well as he steps into his new office."

Orange was executive director for the Coalition for Quality Integrated Education before landing a job as manager in the Equity and Compliance Department of the Seattle Public School District in 1977. Since then, he has served on more than 20 boards and commissions, including the Task Force on Policy Issues in Elementary and Secondary Education for the U.S. Office of Education, the Task Force on Goals for Common Schools for the Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Washington Council on Crime and Delinquency. He currently serves on the board of directors of Festival Sundiata and the Seattle affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute.

Orange will begin work at the commission June 24 and will earn $48,075 annually. He replaces James Kelly, who left last month to become a special assistant to DSHS Secretary Lyle Quasim.

The nine-member commission was created in 1989 to deal with issues concerning the rights and needs of African Americans, and to recommend to the governor, state agencies and the Legislature appropriate changes in programs and laws.

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For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at (360) 753-6790.