Meet The State Treasurer’s Staff: Policy Director Brad Hendrickson

Brad Hendrickson is the Director of Policy and Legislative Relations for Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson. He joined the Office of the State Treasurer (OST) during the tenure of Davidson’s immediate predecessor James McIntire, in December, 2015. Before that he spent 30-plus years working for the Washington State Senate, mainly as Deputy Secretary of the Senate.

Making The Wheels Turn

In his current position for OST, Hendrickson has several key responsibilities. These include:

  • representing the Treasurer with legislative and executive branch agencies;
  • tracking and advocating for or against legislation in which OST has a stake;
  • working with the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) on behalf of OST;
  • working with OST managers to research, create, implement and review the office’s policy priorities;
  • representing the Treasurer on the ABLE Governing Board, establishing a new disability savings program;
  • and staffing the 2017 Infrastructure/Public Depository Task Force.

Brad says the high points for him at the Treasurer’s Office so far have been several.

“Much of my first year here was spent staffing the Treasurer, who was President of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST), and helping to plan and host the 2017 NAST Annual Conference in Seattle.”

He adds, “While I’ve spent my entire professional career at the capitol, working for OST allowed me to gain a much deeper understanding of Washington State’s fiscal management, and to work with a fascinating and dedicated group of professionals. I love the people, process and politics of Olympia, and I can’t imagine a more inspiring place to be.”

Nordic Ancestors Settled On Puget Island

Away from work, Brad says that he and his family “love visiting locations around the Northwest. It’s hard to imagine living in a place without mountains, and the ocean.”

He’s about as authentic a Washingtonian as anyone could be. “My grandparents immigrated from Norway in the early 1900s to an island on the Columbia River, Puget Island.” It’s close to where the Columbia runs into the Pacific. His grandfather had a long career there as a fisherman. Brad graduated from Wahkiakum High School in Cathlamet, home of the Mules.

He adds, “my wife Laura and I met at Western Washington University (Go Vikings!) and we have two wonderful children, Sarah and Sean. I love all kinds of music (recorded and live);  Laura and I are big movie buffs; and I aspire to be a standup comic.”

Brad has a BA in political science from Western, and began his Olympia career during his junior year as a legislative intern in the Senate. The following year, he represented WWU’s Associated Students as their Legislative Liaison in Olympia.

Pitching Fish In Alaska; Learning The Ropes In Olympia

During college and for a few years afterward, he worked for the seafood industry in Alaska (Kenai, Seward, King Salmon and Naknek). He did everything from pitching fish to running heavy equipment, and later served as a foreman and project manager.

After graduating from Western, he rotated between working summers in Alaska and winters in the legislature. In the legislature, he  served as a caucus policy staffer, Assistant Staff Director and, for much of the past 20 years, as Deputy Secretary (Assistant Director) of the Senate. After 30 years and 34 regular sessions with the Legislature, he accepted the position with OST.

Hendrickson says, “As I would tell each new class of legislative interns – when I began working in Olympia in the winter of 1982 – our state’s problems and the solutions to those problems seemed crystal clear to me. Thirty-five years later, I’m much less certain!”