Robert Nellams has directed Seattle Center since his mayoral appointment in 2006. He served as Deputy Director from 1998 and Director of Patron Services, 1996-1997. Robert started his City career as an accountant in the Department of Administrative Services.
Robert considers Seattle Center to be the heart and soul of our community. With a firm grasp of both the business and bureaucracy of the City department he heads, he focuses on building the capacity of Seattle Center to delight and inspire the human spirit in ways that strengthen communities. During his tenure as Director, Robert has negotiated homes at Seattle Center for many organizations that contribute significantly to the livability and economy of the region through the performing arts, family activities, free public programming and professional and collegiate sports. He has worked closely on behalf of the City to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding and transaction documents with Oak View Group to renovate and operate KeyArena - and to welcome the WNBA to KeyArena, Chihuly Garden and Glass and Artists at Play playground to the former Fun Forest areas and Seattle International Film Festival, KEXP, Cornish College of the Arts and PrideFest onto the grounds. He also led efforts to bring Seattle/King County Clinic to KeyArena. In its first four years, the four-day dental, vision and medical clinic served 16,300 patients to a broad range of free healthcare services.
Robert is a member of the Board of Directors for The Northwest African American Museum and was recently elected Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Central Washington University (he previously served as Chair of the CWU Foundation Board). He is also a member of The Breakfast Group, a Seattle-based non-profit service organization devoted to mentoring African-American and other low-income and at-risk male youth of color. A native of Seattle and graduate of Franklin High School, Robert holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Central Washington University.