Robert Gelder, District 1 Commissioner
Commissioner Robert Gelder was born and
raised in a small upstate New York community where his family
still resides. Robert was Salutatorian for his high school
graduating class in 1984. He went on to receive a degree in
Political Science from the University of Rochester in 1988. He
also had the opportunity to study Norwegian at the University of
Oslo, Norway as part of the International Summer School hosted
by St. Olaf College.
It was through friendships made in Norway
that Commissioner Gelder made the decision to move to Seattle in
January 1990. He realized quickly the Pacific Northwest offered
a quality of life and experience that rivaled anything upstate
New York could offer – except perhaps the colors of fall foliage
in the Fingerlakes Region.
Commissioner Gelder’s career has afforded him
the opportunity to focus on service to the community whether
that be health-related services or human services. With 20-plus
years working in the not-for-profit sector, he has over a decade
of experience as either the chief executive or as a member of
the senior leadership team.
With an emphasis on resource development and
community relations, Commissioner Gelder appreciates the role
community plays in the fulfillment of an organization’s mission.
Prior to serving as County Commissioner, Robert served for over
two years on the County’s Citizen Budget Advisory Committee.
Commissioner Gelder has called North Kitsap
home for over twelve years, with the past nine years residing in
the Brownsville area. He enjoys boating, hiking, camping,
travel, experiencing different cultures and spending quality
time with friends and family, often centered around good food