Sam Assefa is the Director of Seattle's Office of Planning & Community Development. Prior to his appointment in 2016, Sam served as the senior urban designer for the City of Boulder, Colorado. From 2002 to 2010, he was the Director of Land Use and Planning Policy at the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Between 1991 and 2002, Sam worked as the senior urban designer for San Francisco architecture firm SMWM, as well as the City of San Francisco Planning Department. Sam has served on numerous boards, including the AIA Regional Urban Design Committee, and is a founding member of the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts, where he was an Adjunct Professor of Architecture. Sam serves as a Resource Team for the Mayors Institute on City Design (MICD), a team of distinguished professionals from across the country with expertise architecture, urban design, city planning, and related fields. He is a frequent speaker at national and international planning and design conferences. Sam is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master's in City Planning, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, with a B.A. in Architecture.