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About our director

Teresa Berntsen, Director of the Washington State Department of Licensing

Teresa Berntsen, Director of the Washington State Department of Licensing, was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, effective July 1, 2018.

Teresa has worked most of her career as a public servant starting as a Clerk Typist 2 at the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1989. She worked her way up through positions of increasing responsibility, eventually taking on roles including staff to the House Transportation Committee and a Transportation Policy Advisor to Governor Christine Gregoire.

Most recently as the Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises, she developed and implemented programs to eliminate barriers and provide meaningful opportunity for small minority- and women-owned businesses in public contracting and procurement. Leaving the agency with a customer satisfaction rate of 97% and high employee engagement, she demonstrated the importance of leading with humble cultural competency, social awareness and a wholehearted belief in mission.

Teresa is ready to hit the ground running. She served as the Department of Licensing's Deputy Director for 4 ½ years, ending in 2016.

Teresa has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Gender Studies from The Evergreen State College and is LEAN Green Belt Certified. She lives in Olympia with her husband and stepdaughter, and enjoys camping and spending time with her grandnephew and grandniece.

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