Commissioner Robert Gelder was born and raised in a small upstate New York community where his family still resides. He received a degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 1988 and studied Norwegian at the University of Oslo in Norway. Through friendships made in Norway, Commissioner Gelder made the decision to move to Seattle in January 1990.
Commissioner Gelder's career has afforded him the opportunity to focus on service to the community whether that be health or human services. With 20-plus years working in the not-for-profit sector, he has over a decade of experience as either the chief executive or as a member of the senior leadership team. Commissioner Gelder has called North Kitsap home for over Thirteen years, with the past ten years residing in the Keyport area.
Prior to joining the Board of County Commissioners in March 2011, Commissioner Gelder spent his career working in not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations. He believes the County exists to provide service to our community. The challenge before us is to meet the service demands that citizens require given the budgetary constraints that exist.
The Commissioner's priorities include efficient and effective government in the current economy – maintaining Kitsap's quality of life and promoting business vitality – advocating for our most vulnerable residents and veterans – and keeping Kitsap safe – and, above all, service.
"As I serve you as County Commissioner, I will always be on the ready to listen and learn. Our community is filled with tremendous people who work tirelessly to create a local vision and to make that vision come true. You are the potential our community holds. Together we can keep Kitsap great!"