The Washington State Department of Commerce has appointed Kendrick Stewart as deputy director, effective Feb. 16.

Stewart succeeds Connie Robins, who retired in late November 2019. Since then, Martin McMurry, Commerce’s CFO, has been serving as interim deputy director while also overseeing the agency’s Administrative Services Division.

In his new role, Stewart will lead internal operations of the cabinet agency with nearly 350 employees and nearly 100 programs serving community and economic development throughout the state.

With 20 years of public service and experience at four cabinet-level agencies, Stewart joins the executive leadership team at Commerce from the Washington Department of Enterprise Services, where he served as the human resources and safety director and as the equity inclusion manager. Prior to that role, he served as assistant director for Commerce’s Administrative Services Division.