Ryan Mello

Pierce County Executive, District 4

Ryan will be the first out gay county executive in Washington!


Born in Kailua, Hawaii, Ryan Mello moved to Tacoma in 1997 to attend the University of Puget Sound where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and government. He fell in love with Tacoma as an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinating the Youth United program at the United Way of Pierce County, producing the first-ever program where high school students earn their varsity letter for exceptional community service. Ryan went on to serve in several career roles to protect our quality of life, working farmlands and rural heritage.

Ryan went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Pierce Conservation District where he led a team across Pierce County in working to improve water quality and habitat function for people, fish and wildlife, increase access to local, healthy food for all and expand sustainable agriculture practices. Ryan was elected citywide to the Metropolitan Park Board of Commissioners in 2005, and in 2010 made history as the first openly gay man to serve on the Tacoma City Council, serving until 2019. Ryan also serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and previously as a founding board member of Equal Rights Washington and the Transportation Choices Coalition Board of Directors. Currently, Ryan serves as Chair of the Pierce County Council, representing District 4 – and is known as a strong advocate for working families, housing affordability, transportation, and public safety solutions. Ryan and his partner Sean live in downtown Tacoma. They enjoy hiking, supporting local sports teams and engaging in community service. He is committed to ensuring basic services are delivered effectively, everyone who needs a job has a good paying job with benefits, keeping the South Sound affordable for all income levels, having efficient transportation solutions for our community, and ensuring that our air, land and water is healthy for everyone to enjoy.