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Ralph Munro

Well known as Washington’s longtime Secretary of State, Ralph Munro now serves on the boards of directors of several Washington firms and continues to foster international relationships, participate in humanitarian efforts, and work for the good of the people of Washington State.

Born in Seattle in 1943, Mr. Munro received his Bachelor of Arts in Education in Political Science at Western Washington University. His early positions in the private sector included employment as an industrial engineer at the Boeing Company and manager of Food Enterprises, caterers of traditional Northwest fare. He first became involved in state government in 1966 as a staff member for the House of Representatives during the legislative session.

Mr. Munro was named Washington State’s first Volunteer Coordinator in 1969 and two years later was recruited by the White House as a ‘loaned executive’ to help develop ACTION , the federal volunteer agency.

As special assistant to Governor Dan Evans, Mr. Munro was involved with education, social and health services, and special projects. In both his government position and his private life, he was involved in many efforts to improve the lives of developmentally disabled children.

In 1980, Ralph Munro was elected to the office of Secretary of State — a position he would hold until he retired from public service in 2001. While in office, Secretary Munro brought about many innovative changes in the election process in Washington State and a dramatic increase in international trade. In addition to a term as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State and many years on the of the Board of Directors for the Council of State Governments, Mr. Munro served as a member of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform. His awards include the Order of Civil Merit (awarded by King Juan Carlos of Spain), the Order of Friendship (awarded by Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation), the Executive Leadership Award from the League of Women Voters, Humanitarian of the Year, the Warren G. Magnuson Award, and many more. He is recognized as a leader in environmental efforts and an advocate for the orcas of Puget Sound.

Mr. Munro served as president of the largest and fourth oldest Rotary Club in the world, Seattle Rotary Club Number 4. In 2006, former Rotary President Jim Lacy presented Ralph with the International ‘Service Above Self’ award from the Rotary International Board of Directors. With other Seattle Rotarians, he is now heavily involved in the effort to eliminate polio on the African continent.

Currently, Mr. Munro sits on the boards of directors for Prepared Response, a company committed to enhancing public safety; Sunstream Boat Lifts, an innovative company that markets vessel lift equipment worldwide; Thurston First Bank in South Puget Sound; and Panorama City, a retirement community near Olympia. In addition, he is working closely with Talgo, a company known for innovative transportation systems.

Karen Hanson Munro, also a Washington State native, married Ralph more than thirty years ago. Their son George was born in 1977. The Munros make their home on Triple Creek Farm in Olympia, Washington.

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