Meet the Commissioners

Linda Oosterman - Commissioner District 1 (2012-2024) Linda Oosterman

Linda Oosterman is a fourth generation Washingtonian. Her undergraduate degree is in Organization Management and her Master's degree is in Systems Theory and Family Therapy (University of Wisconsin).  She has worked as a manager of countywide Crisis Response Programs in both eastern and western Washington.  She was also the Director and an instructor of the Human Services Program at Grays Harbor College.

Much of Linda's organizational management career has focused on managing groups that responded to crisis or crisis prevention, such as strategic planning for prevention and intervention. She has also been an educator.  Throughout her life, community service has been a priority.  She is currently active in the Olympia Kiwanis and in The Alliance To Prevent Human Trafficking.

As a strong advocate for returning Veterans, she continues to hold a current Washington State License as a Mental Health Professional.Linda has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She supports science and engineering to advance our research and development of technology towards a solid approach to conservation and sustainable living.



Russell E. Olsen - Commissioner District 2 (2013-2028) Commissioner Olsen

Russ is currently the Director of the Washington State Pollution Liability Insurance Agency.  His past 13 years of public service has focused upon balancing the needs of economic development while protecting our valuable natural resources.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Martin’s University and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Seattle University. He also was a General Manager for the American Golf Corporation before his entry into public service. Russ grew up in the Thompson Place neighborhood, outside of Lacey, attended Olympic View Elementary, graduated from North Thurston High School. He is married to his wife, Rebecca, and they have a son.

Russ has extensive knowledge and experience in strategic planning, policy and budget development, implementation, and assessment.



Chris Stearns - Commissioner District 3 (2009-2026) Commissioner Chris Stearns

Chris Stearns has been a resident of Thurston County since 1976 and was elected to his first term in the 2008 election.

Chris has a background as a Fisheries Biologist having worked for Washington’s Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (W.D.F.W.), N.W. Indian Fisheries Commission and local Tribes. Chris has extensive experience surveying Puget Sound for Forage Fish (Herring, Smelt and Sand Lance) spawning sites along our shorelines. He helped initialize work with the state to help delineate critical salmon and steelhead freshwater habitat features depicted on maps. Chris also won a “Team Award” in 2003 for his efforts for W.D.F.W.’s Salmon and Steelhead Habitat Inventory and Assessment Program throughout the entire southern portion of our state.

He has remained a tireless advocate for the use of promising bioremediation technologies, already in use for oil spills in this state, to restore the aquatic life of Puget Sound.

Photos by Rebecca Sue Photography

District Map