Dave Upthegrove

Commissioner of Public Lands

Dave will be the first out LGBTQ+ statewide executive office holder in Washington!


Dave’s love of the outdoors developed at a young age, spending his summers in high school and college working outdoors — teaching young people about conservation on the Olympic Penninsula, and leading week-long treks through the Cascade Mountains. His interest in politics developed as an environmental activist on campus at the University of Colorado where he earned a degree in Environmental Conservation and Biology— later earning a graduate certificate in Energy Policy from the University of Idaho. In 2001, Dave made history as the first out LGBTQ+ State Legislator from outside the City of Seattle. During his twelve years in the Washington State House of Representatives, he served as Chair of the House Select Committee on Puget Sound– helping create the Puget Sound Partnership to restore Washington State’s crown jewel. He later served as Chair of the House Environment Committee— working in every corner of the State to reduce carbon pollution, clean up toxics, and improve oil spill prevention. For his work, he was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Washington Conservation Voters. Now, as Chair of the King County Council, he is working to preserve public lands and manage growth, parks, wastewater and transportation in environmentally sustainable ways in the state’s most populous county. Dave and his husband Chad live in Des Moines with their dog Benji and cat Dobby.