News

Wednesday, February 6 2019

Liza Burell appointed interim lead, as search for new executive director launches

Today, Building Changes’ Board of Directors announces the appointment of Program Director Liza Burell as interim executive director and the launch of a search for a new executive director. 

Helen Howell, the current executive director, is leaving Building Changes later this month to serve as the senior director for policy, research & social impact initiatives with the King County Housing Authority, the largest provider of affordable housing in the Pacific Northwest. 

Howell began her service with Building Changes as a member of the Board of Directors in 2012, and has served as executive director since 2015.  She is leaving the organization in a strong and financially healthy position.  

“Helen has been a terrific leader in furthering our mission to combat family and youth homelessness in our state. Her focus on more fully incorporating racial equity into our work, expanding our research and evaluation role, moving upstream to prevent homelessness, and embracing our responsibility to share what we learn with the field, has made us a better organization,” said Building Changes Board President Rogers Weed. “We wish her well at the King County Housing Authority and in her future professional efforts to further our mission.”

“Liza’s oversight of multiple program areas at Building Changes and her 18-plus years of experience working in homelessness made her the clear choice for leading the organization through this transition period,” Weed added. 

The search for a new executive eirector will be led by the Board of Directors in partnership with Clover Search Works. A formal, public search for the next leader kicks off today (details below). 

In her interim capacity, Burell will oversee the 2019 organizational priorities, including: 

  • Grounding work and delivering better outcomes in racial equity
  • Awarding grants and providing grantee support in family and youth homelessness
  • Research and advocacy in homelessness prevention and the Schoolhouse Washington project
  • Sharing findings and knowledge of solutions and strategies aimed at ending family and youth homelessness

“I am confident in our talented staff, and our work will continue full steam ahead,” Burell noted. “We look forward to what the future will bring.” 


Beginning today, Clover Search Works will conduct a formal search for the next executive director in partnership with the Building Changes’ Board of Directors. A full description of the position is available here. Interested applicants should apply online. Applications accepted until March 10, 2019.