King County, Wash., Executive Ron Sims has been invited to Washington. On Monday, President Obama tapped Sims to become the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

If the Senate approves his nomination, Sims would manage HUD's daily operations, which include a $39 billion annual budget and 8,500 employees. "Ron's track record as an innovative leader with an exciting vision for the future of our nation's communities make him the perfect deputy secretary candidate as we tackle the nation's housing crisis amidst the biggest economic downturn in decades," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. "His experience at the helm of a large urban government provides a critical perspective, and his collaborative approach to problem solving has prepared him to effectively lead HUD's operations as the agency charts a new aggressive course."

In a statement on the King County Web site, Sims said he was "deeply grateful and overwhelmed by [the president's] trust and confidence in me," and promised to give "my very best" if the appointment is confirmed. "Leaving King County government will be very difficult for me. In my mind and heart, I see and feel the work that needs to be done to complete the transformation of this region into the best place in the world," he said.

Sims was named American City & County's 2008 County Leader of Year. Read the article, "Ahead of the curve," about his King County accomplishments or in the July 2008 digital edition of American City & County.