The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced Friday its next president and CEO will be Rachel Smith, currently King County deputy executive and chief of staff. Her first day in the post will be Jan. 4. 

The business group has had an interim CEO, Markham McIntyre, since last January, when Marilyn Strickland stepped down to run for Congress. 

Chamber board chair Diana Birkett Rakow, an Alaska Airlines vice president, described Smith in a statement asa passionate problem-solver, a big thinker with a bias for clear plans and action, and a strong partner to and champion for business throughout the region.”

Smith has worked in the county executive office since 2014 and was chief of staff before being appointed to the added post of deputy executive in February 2019 by King County Executive Dow Constantine, according to the county’s website.

The chamber said its search committee unanimously recommended Smith after an extensive national search.