Gael Tarleton is an international policy and national security expert with four decades of experience working in the public and private sectors to tackle public policy challenges at home and abroad. During a career that began in the depths of the Cold War, Gael served as a senior Soviet intelligence analyst in the U.S. national intelligence community as the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Soviet empire started to crumble. Following the 1992 collapse of the Soviet Union, Gael spent the 1990s at a science and technology company working in Russia and leading teams of scientists and engineers to implement U.S. cooperative threat reduction and nuclear test ban treaties. Gael made another career move after the 9/11 attacks to take a staff position at the University of Washington. She led the effort to establish the endowed Herbert J Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the UW Jackson School of International Studies. Gael also served as strategic advisor to the UW Institute for National Security Education and Research and the Pacific Rim Visualization and Analytics Center. While at UW, Gael ran for local public office. She was elected twice as a Port of Seattle Commissioner and served five years on a 5-member elected board, overseeing the largest airport, seaport, and North Pacific Fishing Fleet in the Pacific Northwest and working part-time at UW. When her long-time WA state representative announced her retirement in 2012, Gael decided she’d seek the seat to work on critical local, national, and international public policy challenges related to climate change, cyber security threats, and global trade effects on WA State communities. Gael won this race and went on to serve four terms as state representative. Gael ran for WA Secretary of State in 2020, against a two-term incumbent. That was the year of the pandemic when all races were conducted from our homes via Zoom. It was the first race for public office that Gael lost. In January 2022, the newly elected Mayor of Seattle appointed Gael to serve as his director of intergovernmental relations, supporting the Mayor and City Council in their relations with local, state, federal, tribal, and international governments. For 25 years, Gael has served as a volunteer Board member for national and local non-profit organizations. Gael holds an MA in Government and National Security and BS from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She grew up north of Boston, MA, and she and her husband have lived in Seattle for more than 30 years.