A Northwest native, Hilary Franz has lived for 20 years in Washington State. Hilary was raised by her father and grandparents with close connections to the land. Her grandparents came to Pierce County in the late 1930s where they raised cattle on hundreds of acres of ranchland — some of which remains in use and with the family to this day. She instilled the same passion and commitment to the land in her own children by raising her three boys for the last 15 years on a small historic farm on Bainbridge Island. Hilary will bring to the role of the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands a life-long connection to the people and places of our state.
Hilary has committed 20 years of her career to working on environmental, local government, and public policy issues. Her proven track record and experience make her well-qualified for the position of Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands. Prior to coming to Futurewise, the state’s leading voice for smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies, Hilary represented local governments, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups on a broad range of land use and environmental law issues. These include the Growth Management, Shoreline Management, Endangered Species, Clean Water, and State Environmental Policy Acts. From 2008 to 2011, she served as a Bainbridge Island city councilmember and government leader. She brought together diverse coalitions of local, state, and national public and private entities and developed nationally recognized environmental policies and programs.
Hilary is an active leader in the local government and environmental arena. She has tackled issues that the next Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands will face and found solutions that are a win for our environment and our local economies. She sat on the Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Board, the Puget Sound Regional Council Economic Development District Board, the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, and the Puget Sound Transportation Futures Task Force. She was appointed by Governor Gregoire to Washington State’s Climate Action Team IWG on the State Environmental Policy Act. She has served on numerous boards, including Conservation Northwest, the Washington Environmental Council, the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and Friends of the Farms.
Hilary has focused throughout her career on the same areas managed by the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands. She has worked across the state on behalf of the farming community protecting farmland and growing the farm economies in Skagit, Pierce, Okanogan, Spokane, Snohomish, Kittitas, Whatcom, King, and Benton counties. She has worked on aquatics lands issues throughout the Puget Sound and in Pacific and Grays Harbor counties – with a focus on protecting the marine economy and environment so communities are stronger and the environment is healthier.
Hilary is a graduate of Smith College and Northeastern University Law School.