ROSS Executive Committee Member, Tech Innovator, Philanthropist, and Conservationist Doug Walker Tragically Passes Away

By Nancy Rottle
(Photo Source: King County Sheriff's Office)

The Puget Sound Region lost “a great civic leader, conservationist and philanthropist who had a passion for the outdoors and instilled that same passion in others” on New Year’s Eve 2015, says Puget Sound Partnership chair Martha Kongsgaard.

Doug Walker, 65, moved to the Seattle area with his wife Maggie Walker for graduate school at the University of Washington. Soon thereafter in 1981, Doug and two friends started the software company WRQ that is credited with helping to boost Seattle into the tech boom city it is today. The success of his company, and his belief in paying good fortune forward, led him to co-found the Social Venture Partners, an organization that, according to The Seattle Times, “has become a multiplier force supporting the common good.”

Beyond Social Venture Partners, Doug served on the board of several non-profits including the ROSS and the Seattle Parks Foundation. He was also “a champion of access to the outdoors for all people” says friend and U.S Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell. In fact, just last month he met with Senior White House staff to discuss support to boost equitable access for kids to the outdoors.

On Thursday, December 31st Doug was in his element on a snowshoeing adventure on Granite Mountain in the Cascades. After being separated from friends for several hours, authorities believe he was likely caught in an avalanche. Doug is survived by his wife Maggie, daughter Kina, and brothers John and Herman Walker.

We are grateful for Doug's important contributions to the conservation of, and access to, our regional open spaces, and especially for his inspiration to have others to do the same.

Please see this article in The Seattle Times for more information. 

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