Office of the Secretary

Pat Lashway, Acting Secretary DSHSMeet Pat Lashway

Patricia Lashway became Acting Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services on February 23, 2016, named to the position by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The Department’s 17,500 employees touch the lives of more than 2.5 million of Washington’s most vulnerable residents each year through behavioral health and developmental disability services, aging and long-term care and child and family support, juvenile rehabilitation, and food and cash assistance. As DSHS Acting Secretary she oversees a $14 billion two-year budget.  

Lashway has spent her career – in state government, the legal field and as a Peace Corps volunteer – working for expanded supports and services for low-income and vulnerable people of all ages and walks of life. She has served in a variety of positions with DSHS, beginning in 1988 in the Aging and Disability Services Administration and as Senior Director of Government Relations until she was appointed Assistant Secretary for the Services and Enterprise Support Administration in February 2013.

In the latter position, she was responsible for management of daily operations across the Department, where she led the Communications, Diversity and Inclusion, Fraud and Accountability, Human Resources, Indian Policy, Information Systems Services, and Policy and External Relations, and Research and Data Analysis programs. While at the Aging and Disability Services Administration, she served as the Director of Residential Care Services for nine years in a program that was nationally recognized for its work to investigate and resolve complaints from long-term care consumers and their families.

Lashway received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, a juris doctorate from Seattle University and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.