The newly appointed Deputy Director of the Department of Local Services adheres to a fundamental rule when working to solve problems.
Don’t complicate things.
“I like to keep things simple,” Danielle de Clercq says. “Break it down to the basics. The simpler we can define the problem, the easier it is to solve.”
De Clercq’s approach has helped the Dutch-speaking, outdoor enthusiast empower people throughout her 30-year career. Whether she was shepherding the exponential growth of a solid waste startup, administering health education grant applications worth millions of dollars, or consulting on management and operations for companies, de Clercq has always focused on helping staff maximize their effectiveness and make their lives easier.
De Clercq (pronounced de-CLERK) brings those years of experience to Local Services, a department dedicated to improved delivery of government services to the 250,000 residents and businesses of Unincorporated King County. In addition to her ability to manage day-to-day operations and execute projects, Local Services Director John Taylor says it is de Clercq’s relationship with people that makes her the right person for the job.
“Danielle’s unique ability to empower people to improve their work lives to get the most out of their jobs is amazing,” Local Services Director John Taylor says. “Her ability to truly understand people is one of her biggest intangibles and is exactly what Local Services needs as we focus on delivering services to Unincorporated King County.”
De Clercq says she needs to learn more about the unique and diverse needs of the people and businesses of Unincorporated King County, and she is committed to supporting the employees of the new Department of Local Services in their goal of delivering excellent service. “It’s about making sure everybody has what they need to get their job done,” she says, “and that means really understanding what we do and why we’re doing it.”
De Clercq was born in South Africa, and her parents are both from Holland, which is why she is fluent in Dutch (she can also understand Spanish, French and Italian). Her family immigrated to the United States when she was 10 and she’s called Seattle home for most of her life. She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s degree in environmental engineering/hydrogeomorphology from John Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree in geography from Dartmouth.
De Clercq is the proud stepmother to five daughters, and owner of a 2-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo puppy. She loves hiking and biking and serves with King County’s volunteer search and rescue team. She and her pooch, Archer, have been accepted as candidates for the King County Search Dogs program, a nonprofit unit of King County Search and Rescue Association that works with the Sheriff’s Office. De Clercq says she’s optimistic about their chances of becoming official search and rescue team members early next year. Good luck to both!