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Staff Biography

Rian Watt

Senior Advisor

Rian Watt serves part-time as a Senior Advisor to the The Urbanist's Board of Directors, responsible for a broad portfolio including board management, revenue, and organizational growth. Prior to serving as Senior Advisor, Rian served part-time as The Urbanist's Executive Director from 2023-24, as Chair of the Election Committee from 2019-2023, and on The Urbanist’s Board of Directors.

In addition to his work with The Urbanist, Rian serves as the Executive Director of the Economic Opportunity Institute, a public policy advocacy group, and on the boards of Futurewise, a statewide land use advocacy organization, and the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. Previously, Rian volunteered as a commissioner on the Seattle Planning Commission and as a Meal Coordinator for Teen Feed, a low-barrier meal program for homeless and unstably housed youth in Seattle’s University District.

Outside of Seattle, Rian has also worked as a management consultant, a social policy researcher, and a strategy lead for various national firms and freelanced as a professional baseball writer covering the Mariners and national baseball as a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He’s the proud son of immigrants (from West Bengal and Scotland, respectively), and rents in Capitol Hill with his wife and two cats.