Michelle DeGrand, Chief Communications Officer, 425-452-4346
DeGrand manages the city's internal and external communications strategies, working closely with the city’s various departments to communicate with residents on key initiatives, happenings and city council matters.
DeGrand joined the city in September 2019 as deputy communications officer. She has been chief communications officer since July 2023, after serving in an acting capacity for seven months. Before Bellevue, she spent more than a decade in corporate communications for mid-size manufacturers in the Puget Sound area. She also worked for several years in television journalism early in her career. DeGrand has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Emily Inlow-Hood, Deputy Communications Officer, 425-452-4346
Inlow-Hood supports city communications, including for the City Council and several departments as needed. She also assists with strategy and organizational communications.
Inlow-Hood came to Bellevue from the City of Burien, where she lives and where she served as communications and public engagement manager 2017 to 2023. She has also worked in communications functions for the Washington Health Alliance, global health nonprofit PATH and e-learning nonprofit WebJunction. Emily has a bachelor's degree in English/creative writing from Kalamazoo College and a master’s degree in library and informational science from the University of Washington, as well as professional certificates in strategic communications and public sector leadership.
Claude Iosso, Digital Communications Coordinator, 425-452-4448
With the city since 2006, Iosso has had a role ensuring quality and consistency in all city communications, editing and writing news releases, content on Bellevue's Internet and intranet sites, as well as the resident newsletter, It's Your City. He launched Bellevue's first social-media sites, and is continually researching and experimenting to ensure residents have easy ways to learn about what the city is doing and give feedback.
Prior to coming to Bellevue, Iosso was a newspaper reporter and encyclopedia editor for several years. He became a communications professional with the King County Housing Authority in 2000. Iosso graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor's degree in writing.
Gillian Hagstrom, Transportation Public Information Officer, 425-452-7925
Hagstrom informs and educates the public about what the city is doing to make their travels safe and smooth. She joined the city in June 2022. She had previously worked for the city as a community engagement intern for the Transportation Department in 2020 and 2021.
Prior experience includes stints with the cities of Kirkland and Mercer Island as a planner. Hagstrom has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and a bachelor's in urban studies from the University of Calgary.
Heather Wong, Fire Public Information Officer, 425-452-7881
Wong joined the fire department in 2015 as the community risk reduction specialist, co-managing the department’s social media accounts and website. As interim PIO, she strives to empower the public through education and keep residents and media informed of emerging incidents.
Working in public safety for over two decades, Wong has served in various roles including being deployed to wildland fires and emergency dispatching.
Michaelene Fowler, Utilities Public Information Officer, 425-452-6180
Fowler joined the city in July 2022, and keeps the public informed about the city's essential utility services and capital projects. Fowler has over 20 years of experience, delivering strategic communications for print, digital and broadcast media both regionally and nationally, including for the City of Sammamish and BECU.
Fowler graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Sociology with a Communications emphasis.
Christina Faine, Parks & Community Services Public Information Officer, 425-452-4286
Faine joined the city in July 2015 as public information officer for Parks & Community Services, sharing information with the public about her department's many programs and projects.
Previously, she handled communications and public outreach on clean water and capital programs at King County and the City of Seattle. Christina has a bachelor's degree in English from Smith College.
Brooke Brod, Community Engagement Lead, Community Development, 425-452-6930
Brod creates opportunities for residents to have their voices heard on issues ranging from affordable housing to neighborhood planning to environmental stewardship. With over 10 years of experience in nonprofit advocacy and community organizing, she works to bring people from different backgrounds together to find common ground.
Brod has a background in theater, and has been a director. She holds a bachelor's degree in fine art from New York University and a master's in fine art from the University of Texas. She uses her experience as a director and educator to design interactive and inclusive community engagement processes.
Laura Milstead, Transportation Public Information Officer, 425-452-4346
Milstead works in tandem with Hagstrom to inform and educate the public about what the city is doing to improve mobility in Bellevue and make travel safe. She came to the city from consultant Guidehouse, LLC, which advises state and local governments on transportation projects among other things. Projects included user experience research and planning for Sound Transit to improve communications for riders with disabilities and/or limited English proficiency.
Milstead has a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor's degree in political science and urban studies from the University of Michigan.
Amanda Rich Anderson, Public Information Officer, Development Services, 425-452-6821
Anderson educates the community about growth and development in Bellevue and the work of Development Services, from project application and review to permits and inspections.
Anderson previously worked in K-12 education, sharing critical information with parents, educators and the community. Prior to that, Anderson was a communications and events coordinator at the University of Washington. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and a master’s degree from the University of Washington.