About Vanessa Kritzer
Vanessa lives in Downtown Redmond with her husband and young daughter. Raised in the Bridle Trails neighborhood, Vanessa has always had a passion for this community. She currently serves on the City of Redmond’s Planning Commission to help ensure that Redmond can grow in an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable way that preserves the quality of life that makes this such a special place to live. She has devoted her career to working for social and environmental justice and driving public sector innovation, and hopes to continue that work on the Redmond City Council.
Vanessa attended undergrad at Vassar College, where she earned a BA in Latin American and Latinx Studies and Political Science, and spent time working with a women’s empowerment non-profit in the Dominican Republic. A community organizer at heart, she began her career as a field director during the 2008 elections in efforts to help elect President Obama. However, over the past decade, Vanessa has focused most of her efforts on organizing differently -- using technology to help educate people about their government’s policies and give them the tools to take action locally for change.
Vanessa spent years working in Washington DC for international human rights and environmental organizations. At the Latin America Working Group, Vanessa led efforts to mobilize over 40,000 people to call for US support for peace in Colombia, aid for people internally displaced by the conflict, and assistance for refugees. As Director of Digital Strategy at the League of Conservation Voters, she helped build an online activist network of over a million people that took action to fight climate change, protect our public lands, and push us towards a clean energy future.
While working on issues at the federal level was a formative and impactful experience, Vanessa felt the pull to return to her home, where she knew she could make the biggest difference at the local level. Vanessa moved back to the Puget Sound region to attend graduate school at the University of Washington, obtaining an MBA from the Foster School of Business and an MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.
During her studies, she focused on data-driven policymaking and management of public institutions as well as learning the best approaches for community economic development. She put her public management skills into action when she was appointed by Governor Inslee to serve as the sole student member of the University of Washington Board of Regents. During her tenure as a regent, she oversaw the university’s $7 billion budget and worked to ensure that public higher education could remain affordable and accessible.
Since graduating, Vanessa has worked on public sector technology for Microsoft on the Redmond campus. She has focused on empowering cities all over the world to become safer, smarter, and more sustainable through digital transformation and connecting healthcare organizations with technology that can help deliver better care at lower costs.
While a first-time candidate for office, Vanessa is highly active in her community. In addition to her work on the Redmond Planning Commission, Vanessa serves on the Board of Directors for the Anti-Defamation League – Pacific Northwest and as a Precinct Committee Officer for the 48th District Democrats. She has been recognized as a Young Environmental Leader by Washington Conservation Voters and was named to the Husky 100 for the impact she made during her years at UW. A staunch advocate for gender equality, Vanessa is also on the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, where she has helped to recruit, train, and support women across Washington to take on leadership roles in their communities.
In her free time, Vanessa can often be found hiking in our many beautiful state parks or biking on the Sammamish River Trail. She enjoys spending time with her family — in addition to her daughter, she has 11 nieces and nephews! She also loves attending theater and playing intricate board games with friends.