Board of Directors taps economic development expert as interim CEO and conducts national search for permanent replacement.

Seattle, Wash. (May 20, 2021) – Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) today announced its chief executive officer Brian McGowan will leave the organization to pursue a new opportunity. Chris Mefford, president and chief executive officer of Community Attributes Inc (CAI) will serve as the interim CEO while the organization undertakes a comprehensive search to identify its next CEO.

“As the founding CEO of GSP, Brian has shown exceptional leadership in these past three years launching our organization and promoting Greater Seattle on the global stage, developing strong regional collaboration with public and private sectors, and spearheading crucial economic recovery work during the pandemic,” said Phyllis Campbell, chairman, Pacific Northwest of JP Morgan Chase and Executive Council co-chair of GSP. “Brian will certainly be missed, but we are fortunate that the next CEO of GSP will inherit an organization stronger than it has ever been before.”

“Chris is an economic development veteran with proven experience working with organizations and municipalities in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the world on urban planning, economic development and strategic planning,” said Bill McSherry, vice president of government relations, The Boeing Company and Board chair of GSP. “Chris has helped countless business, government and not-for-profit entities in our region solve complex problems with well-crafted strategies backed by extensive data and analysis, and we are confident in his ability to lead GSP while we search for its next CEO.”

“The Executive Council, Board of Directors, Investors and strategic partners across the region have been so supportive during my time with GSP, and I will carry the connections and incredible experiences that I and my family have had here with me for a lifetime,” said Brian McGowan. “This was a very difficult decision as I continue to be impressed with the talent, pioneering spirit, unique communities and quality of life across the region and will always be one of Greater Seattle’s biggest advocates.”

During his tenure, Brian built GSP into a globally recognized regional economic development organization responsible for leading numerous outbound and inbound missions from Asia, Europe, Latin America and throughout the United States that generated approximately 7,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in economic impact for Greater Seattle in its first two years of operation. When Covid-19 negatively impacted the global economy, he quickly pivoted GSP into a regional convener of nearly 200 business, civic, and government leaders from across the three-county region focused specifically on economic recovery. The resulting Framework identifies specific metrics and initiatives that will form the core of the region’s long-term recovery efforts to unleash the potential of those who have been most systematically excluded.

ABOUT GREATER SEATTLE PARTNERSGreater Seattle Partners (GSP) is a public-private partnership that leads regional economic development through global business attraction, site selection and investment and trade opportunities in the greater Seattle region. GSP collaborates with community and economic development partners to ensure that every person in the Puget Sound region has the opportunity to prosper. We strive to attract and retain quality family/living wage jobs across all communities of the region. Throughout the world we tell the story of our talent, pioneering spirit, unique communities, and quality of life. For more information visit


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