In 2015, attorney Vini Samuel was the first Indian-American woman elected mayor in the entire United States. She is also Montesano, Washington’s first female mayor, and was elected in a landslide. Her community involvement and experience on Montesano city council had made her a popular choice for mayor. She had been practicing law in Grays Harbor since 1997.
Vini was born in Kerala, India and moved to Juneau, Alaska at six years old. She moved to Montesano after receiving her bachelor’s degree from WWU and her law degree from Seattle University Law School. Vini has served on the WWU Alumni Association board, and has been a long-time scholarship supporter for Western.