Colonel Sanborn Assumes Command of Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

In the time-honored tradition of passing the unit flag, Col. Kathryn P. Sanborn assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, here, Tuesday.

Sanborn replaces Col. Alexander “Xander” Bullock as the district’s 53rd commander. She joins the district after serving as the South Pacific Division’s deputy commander in San Francisco, California.

Colonel Kathryn P. Sanborn, commander of the Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (U.S. Army photo)
Colonel Kathryn P. Sanborn, commander of the Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (U.S. Army photo)

Col. Sanborn leads a team of 845 employees who undertake military construction in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon; and are responsible for an extensive civil works engineering and construction mission in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Seattle District’s programs also include preservation of historic structures, and hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste cleanup. Seattle District manages $1.1 billion dollars’ worth of work annually.

“Now, more than ever, the nation needs a capable, competent, and trusted Corps of Engineers to serve the Army and the nation, and to collaborate with our federal, state and local governments, tribal, industry, non-government partners and academia, to solve the engineering and scientific challenges we’re facing,” said Sanborn. 

“I am extraordinarily honored and excited for the opportunity to take command of Seattle District and work with this incredible team and our diverse stakeholders to deliver solutions to the toughest challenges and serve the Pacific Northwest communities,” she added.

Col. Sanborn is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic and Captain’s Career Courses, Joint Engineer Operations Course, the Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. A licensed Professional Engineer in Vermont and a certified Project Management Professional, Col. Sanborn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from West Point, a Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont, a Master of Science in Engineering Management and certificate in Construction Management with the University of Missouri-Rolla, a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College., and a doctorate in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Seattle District’s mission is trifold: to provide engineering expertise and water resource stewardship, fulfill its commitments to its tribal partners, and deliver world-class solutions to protect and serve the Pacific Northwest. 

In addition to providing military and civil public works services and support for other agencies, the district plays a key role in environmental protection and improvement, from protecting wetlands to ecological restoration and cleaning up hazardous and toxic waste pollution. 

The district’s civil works boundaries encompass 99,000 square miles and contain 4,700 miles of shoreline. The boundaries include the Columbia River system upstream of the mouth of the Yakima River, much of eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana to the Continental Divide.

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