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Monica Fawthrop and family
Monica Fawthrop
Monica kayaking
April 18, 2024

Staff spotlight: Monica Fawthrop

Monica is the administrator for the Divisions of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.
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Personal life

Monica is a life-long Seattle resident. She and her husband, both born and raised in the Seattle area, live in North Seattle where they raised their two (now adult) sons. They enjoy staying close to family, with their extended family, and their sons and their partners all living nearby. With so many roots established in the Seattle community, Monica confidently affirms, “we don’t believe in the Seattle Freeze.”

Monica kayakingMonica and her family are avid fans of outdoor activities. In addition to cycling and exploring local trails, they love opportunities to get out on the water including kayaking and swimming. Monica even has 11 “Polar Bear Plunge” badges from braving the open water on New Year’s Day.

While she said she doesn’t have much interest in gardening, “(called yard work in our household)” Monica does enjoy experimenting with different canning recipes each summer and “fortunately,” she said, “we have friends and family who are willing to participate in taste testing.”

She also loves a good word game. “The New York Times can count on my continuing subscription as long as the Spelling Bee continues,” she said. 

36 years and counting

Monica worked for the Seattle Mariners while in school and while attending the University of Washington for college. After graduating with a degree in political science, she did a short stint with an insurance brokerage firm before finding her way back toward the UW through a position at Fred Hutch.

She officially began working at the UW in 1988 as an hourly/temporary employee within the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (PCCSM). “One thing led to another!” Monica said, and she is now going on 36 years with division. She is one of the department’s longest-serving administrator’s, becoming administrator for PCCSM in 2003, and beginning as administrator for Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine in 2016.

"Monica is the backbone if the PCCSM division," said former Division Head Dr. Robb Glenny. "Our trainees and faculty are able to pursue their career interests in large part due to Monica’s leadership of our administrative staff.  She is well respected by staff, trainees and faculty and has earned their confidence in providing them accurate and timely responses to their many questions. She is widely appreciated for her collaborative attitude and problem solving skills. I am most grateful for her friendship."

Working in the Department of Medicine, Monica especially enjoys “working with very smart, creative people,” she said. “If you ask me what the most challenging part of my job is, I would give the same answer.”

In these roles, Monica oversees finance and operations for both divisions. She also shares her wealth of knowledge with other members of the department, helping to onboard and mentor newer administrators throughout the years, dedicating time and effort to help them be successful. 

Recently, she has been particularly busy working with new leadership and personnel in both divisions. “As of March 2024, the division of PCCSM welcomed its first new division head in 20 years, so lots of orienting and updating underway,” Monica said.

“And a search for a new division head in GGM will soon be underway so more changes on the horizon.” On the staff side, Monica and her team are in a bit of a transitional period, during which she said she is “working with the team to redistribute workload, find great candidates and exercise the rusty research administration part of my brain.”


Monica is well-known throughout the department as a skillful and knowledgeable leader and as pillar of support and mentorship. In recognition of her impact, she was named one of the 2023 recipients of the Department of Medicine Gender Equity Mentorship Awards.

In support of her award, faculty and staff colleagues lauded her personal and thoughtful approach to mentorship:

"The department needs more people like Monica. Someone who is willing to provide her time and knowledge to help others improve and to recognize others, especially minorities, when deserved.”

"Her generous and supportive approach to mentorship, particularly of those female leaders in our department, has significantly contributed to a positive culture within our divisions and the department."