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Chris Stearns
Chris StearnsElected in 2019, Councilmember Chris Stearns is committed to fighting for equity, justice and public safety. Chris is the first Native American (Navajo) to be elected to the Auburn City Council in the City’s history.

Prior to serving in elected office, Chris spent thirty years working as an attorney, government leader, and public policy advocate fighting for justice and human rights. He is Of Counsel to Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, a national law firm specializing in representing Native American tribes across the United States. Chris is also a former Chairman of the Washington State Gambling Commission, a law enforcement agency responsible for keeping gambling safe and honest in what is one of the largest markets in the nation.

While working in Washington, D.C., Chris was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first-ever Director of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy where he helped Secretary Bill Richardson create a national Indian energy portfolio. Prior to that, Chris served as Democratic Counsel for the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives where he oversaw national legislation on Native American issues such as tribal self-determination, health care, and gambling. He also served as Deputy Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Native American Affairs.

His community service includes two terms as Chairman of the Seattle Human Rights Commission during the years the City of Seattle was going through police reform, as well as serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Indian Health Board for the past five years.

Chris graduated from the Lawrenceville School, received his B.A. with Honors in History from Williams College, and his law degree from Cornell Law School.

Chris lives with his wife, Pamela, in Auburn along with their dog, Lovey. They have two adult children, Alexandria and Stephanie (both graduates of Auburn High School), and one grandchild, Carter.