Martha has devoted her life to public service and brings extensive experience in both the public and philanthropic sectors. She served as chief administrative officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and director of the Global Libraries initiative. Martha also served in Governor Locke’s cabinet as the director of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development, and was elected to two terms on the Seattle City Council. Early in her career, Martha was a high school teacher in Eugene, Oregon, and a banker, becoming a vice president at the Bank of California.
Martha is a board member of Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial institution working to strengthen families and economies in Oregon and Washington. She previously served as chair and a member of the White House Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and on the boards of the Seattle Foundation, the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and many other organizations. She holds a BA in speech education and ethnic studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University. She is an ordained Zen Priest.