Aaron Burkhalter

South King County LEAD Program Director
Aaron Burkhalter

Aaron Burkhalter (he/him) works close to his home and heart as the LEAD Project Director in South King County.

As an eight-year resident of Burien, he is personally invested in improving public safety and the lives of Burien residents through the harm reduction model. Aaron also helped launch the LEAD program in Unincorporated King County (White Center) in 2019. He loves how LEAD brings people together from different industries who have different beliefs to move together toward a common community goal.

Prior to joining PDA, Aaron had a 15-year career in community journalism with an emphasis on social justice, homelessness, and equity. Aaron worked around Oregon and Washington as a reporter and editor for Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project, the South Seattle Emerald and the Seattle Globalist. As an editor, Aaron emphasized mentorship with emerging journalists. Aaron has won multiple regional Society for Professional Journalist awards and best cultural coverage from the International Network of Street Papers.

Outside of LEAD, Aaron is a foster parent, musician and gardener. Aaron graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in psychology and from the University of Oregon with a M.S. in journalism.