Governor Appoints Native Parks Director to Statewide Recreation Board


For release:
January 17, 2023

OLYMPIA Reg. Jay Inslee has appointed Trang Lam, Director of the Camas Parks and Recreation Department, to the State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. Lam, who is Vietnamese, is believed to be the first Vietnamese woman to serve on the board in its nearly 60-year history.

The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awards approximately $200 million in grants every 2 years to local government, tribal, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies to create outdoor recreational opportunities such as parks and trails. The Board also awards grants to help preserve the state’s natural resource heritage through the protection of working farms and forests and wildlife habitats, including sites inhabited by plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

“Trang will be a wonderful addition to the board,” said Inslee. “She brings important experience in public service, land use and recreation. Your experience of serving disadvantaged communities will help us invest resources fairly and equitably across the state.”

Lam has over 15 years of public sector experience, including 5 years in parks and recreation and 7 years managing a private company.

In 1979, when she was 4 years old, Lam and her extended family fled Vietnam as refugees and settled in Portland. She later earned a Bachelor of Arts from Portland State University and ran her family’s grocery business before entering public service.

In 2006, Lam began working for the Portland Development Commission, where she has held many positions, primarily focusing on neighborhood redevelopment, engaging historically underserved populations and businesses owned by people of color, and high-profile real estate transactions, economic development initiatives and public private partnership programs. In 2016, Lam relocated to the City of Portland, where she served as both a real estate and business development manager and associate director of the Parks and Recreation Bureau. In 2019, she joined the University of Portland as Associate Vice President of Land Use and Planning before becoming Director of Parks of Camas in 2021.

“We are very pleased that Trang will be joining the board,” said Ted Willhite, Chair of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. “We look forward to her bringing her unique skills to the board and joining us in fulfilling our mission to protect and enhance Washington’s great natural and recreational resources for the people who live here today and for generations to come.”

Lam lives in Washougal with her husband. Her term of office runs until December 31, 2025.