Doug Mah joins Olympian editorial board

A former mayor of the City of Olympia, who has served in four different state agencies over a 23-year career in state government, is joining The Olympian’s editorial board.

Doug Mah begins his 12-month term Jan. 9 as one of two community representatives on the editorial board. He replaces Earl Hale, the retired executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, whose term expired Dec. 31.

The Olympian is one of only a few newspapers that include community members in the opinion-making process. We began with just one community representative 19 years ago, and added a second position six years later.

Mary Gentry, a well-known local attorney and a graduate of Saint Martin’s University, is serving in the other community representative position that expires June 30.

The two community representatives join publisher and editorial page editor George Le Masurier, columnist John Dodge and senior editor Jerre Redecker on the editorial board.

When first elected in 2001, Mah became only the second person of color to serve on the Olympia City Council, and the first person of Chinese-American descent to serve as mayor of the capital city.

Mah was born in Spokane, but has lived his entire life in the Puget Sound area. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Washington University.

He started his state government career in the governor’s Office of Financial Management and most recently assisted in implementing the state’s strategic technology direction in the Office of Chief Information Officer.

He serves on several community nonprofit boards and belongs to other community organizations, including the Olympia Kiwanis Club.

Mah and his wife, Cathy, have raised their daughter in Olympia. She is a senior at Olympia High School.

In applying for a term on the editorial board, Mah wrote, “At the age of 13 my grandfather traveled from China to the United States in 1922 to create a better life for himself and his future family in California. My grandfather was grateful and proud to live in a country and community where he could express his personal views on the editorial page of the local newspaper. He was a prolific and thoughtful contributor in his day. I hope to be able to do the same.”

Please join us in welcoming Doug Mah to The Olympian’s editorial board.