Joe Burris

United Way of King County Announces David Burman, Partner at Perkins Coie, as New Board Chair

The Organization Also Welcomes New Directors to the Board

(SEATTLE)—United Way of King County is honored to announce David Burman as new board chair for fiscal year 2022, which started July 1. He is a partner at Perkins Coie and has been a United Way board member since 2017. He served as board secretary and vice chair in the previous year.

Burman has been an active supporter of United Way of King County for his entire career, and he feels even stronger now. 

“In a region blessed with strong support for helping those in need, United Way of King County has developed into the single most important nongovernmental organization for individuals and companies to join together in that effort,” Burman said. “I’m thankful to be able to play a small role as chair in continuing to sharpen United Way’s focus on systemic solutions and on addressing the long-term effects of racism.”

Gordon McHenry, Jr., United Way of King County president and CEO, welcomed Burman and the new members of the board.

“I have known Dave since 1981. He is a highly skilled attorney and a passionate and effective advocate for systemic change, as well as racial and social justice,” said McHenry. “The Puget Sound region, and specifically United Way, has benefitted greatly from Dave’s decades of community support and leadership. We’re excited to have Dave as chair of the United Way board during such a critical time for the region and especially for our neighbors struggling with the many impacts of COVID-19 and racial injustice.”

Burman works in Perkins Coie’s litigation practice, with experience in antitrust, appellate, consumer protection, constitutional, media, patent, privacy and other cases. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron White and for Judge Spottswood Robinson on the Washington, D.C. Circuit before moving to Seattle. He has argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court and successfully represented Gov. Christine Gregoire during the trial contesting the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election.

He also served in the election day legal “boiler room” in Chicago in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.  He has done pro bono death penalty, voting rights, free speech and other cases. 

United Way also welcomed nine new board members, who reflect the region’s growing diversity. They are:

  • Sean Goode is the executive director of Choose 180, which works to decriminalize youthful behavior by creating alternatives to the criminal legal system. Sean has worked with youth in at-risk communities and worked in educational advocacy to implement programing that supported young people’s readiness in education.
  • Michael Greer is the president and CEO of ArtsFund. As a former professional dancer and experienced executive, Michael’s leadership experience spans both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. He is a former board member at United Way of Greater Portland.
  • Brian Hall is vice president at Google Cloud Product Marketing. Originally from Seattle, Hall worked at Microsoft, where he built Microsoft’s Surface business from scratch. He also worked at Amazon AWS, where he led product marketing, developer advocacy and other initiatives.
  • Steve Hooper, Jr. is president of Ethan Stowell Restaurants. Hooper served as United Way’s campaign co-chair with Ethan Stowell in fiscal year 2021. Hooper and Stowell led United Way’s “Eat, Drink & Be Generous” series of virtual events that were designed to help the restaurant industry, while at the same time raising money to support the community.
  • Shkëlqim Kelmendi is the founder and executive director of Housing Connector, an organization that partners with property owners and managers to eliminate barriers and increase access to housing for individuals exiting homelessness.
  • Bo Lee is senior director–team leader of wealth management at BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Lee leads the wealth advisory team in the Pacific Northwest and is a member of the leadership team that drives the strategic vision and business strategies for the West region.
  • Michelle Merriweather is the president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, where she leads advocacy, programing and coalition building to improve housing, education, health and workforce development for Seattle’s Black communities. She strives to be “an effective voice for the voiceless,” advocating for African Americans and other communities who have been systematically excluded from economic and educational opportunities.
  • Eduardo M. Peñalver is the president of Seattle University. A professor of law, Peñalver was the Allan R. Tessler dean at Cornell University from 2014 to 2021, serving as the first Latino dean of an Ivy League law school. His work explores the way in which the law mediates the interests of individuals and communities.
  • Rachel Smith is president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Prior to her Chamber role, she served as deputy county executive and chief of staff to King County Executive Dow Constantine. Smith has nearly 15 years of government affairs, policy, operations and advocacy experience.


United Way of King County works with determination and innovation to create a community where people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable.

Signature United Way of King County programs include Home Base, which helps people with rental assistance and avoid eviction; ParentChild+ helps parents gain the skills to be their child’s first, best teacher; Reconnecting Youth helps young people earn a diploma or GED because education is one of the best ways to end the cycle of poverty; and Bridge to Finish, a program that helps community college students persist to completion of their studies.