Carmen Bendixen, senior transportation planner at Washington State Ferries and W. Tali Hairston, director of Organizing, Advocacy and Development for Seattle Presbytery, have joined The Seattle Public Library board of trustees.

The board is the governing body of The Seattle Public Library, which includes the world-renowned Central Library and 26 branches. The five-member board controls Library finances and property, sets Library policy and employs the chief librarian. Board members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Board members are volunteers and serve five-year terms.

Bendixen was appointed to the Library Board by Mayor Jenny Durkan in April 2020. She has been employed at Washington State Ferries for over 13 years, where her responsibilities have included transportation and land use planning, community outreach, and public policy analysis.

She has been a member of the Friends of The Seattle Public Library board of trustees since 2011, where she has served as board president, vice president, and secretary. On behalf of the Friends of the Library, Bendixen helped lead advocacy efforts during the 2012 and 2019 Library Levy campaigns. She has also been a Welcome Desk and events volunteer at the Central Library, and is a regular user of the Greenwood and Green Lake branches.

Bendixen has a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, and a master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Hairston was appointed to the Library Board by Durkan in March 2020. In addition to his work at Seattle Presbytery, he is the principal lead of Equitable Development LLC, an education and community research and development firm. Hairston has 17 years in higher education in diversity, equity, and inclusion administration as the special assistant to the president and director of Seattle Pacific University’s Community and International Learning Program. Hairston participates in education research on physics and equity learning as a National Science Foundation awardee; as well as specializes in community education, engagement and outreach, and public policy research. In 2016, Hairston served as co-chair of the City of Seattle’s Black Male Achievement Initiative. Hairston also was lead consultant for community engagement on King County’s Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account, an educational investment fund. Beginning in 2018, Hairston became the lead consultant for the City of Seattle’s Priority Hire Advisory Committee, assisting stakeholders in forming recommendations to the city.

Hairston is a native Rainier Valley resident and a graduate of Ingraham High School. He attended the University of Washington where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. He also has a master’s degree from Fuller Seminary and is completing a doctorate degree in education from Seattle Pacific University.