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City of Portland selects new Chief Procurement Officer to guide public investments, improve equity programs

News Article
Biko Taylor brings expertise from public school districts, commitment to support small businesses
A portrait of Biko Taylor, the City of Portland's Chief Procurement Officer
Biko Taylor has been selected as the City of Portland's new chief procurement officer.

An emerging leader in public education procurement will join the City of Portland as chief procurement officer, guiding public investments in construction projects, goods and services.

Following a national search, City leaders selected Biko Taylor to lead the 45-person procurement team in the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services. He will start his new role Aug. 30.

As chief procurement officer, Taylor will oversee Portland’s external spending for public projects — $845 million during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. He will also lead efforts to diversify the companies and people who do business with the City, helping ensure that Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and women share equitably in Portland’s prosperity.

Taylor said he and the City are committed to supporting small businesses, which make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and employ 47 percent of workers – generating 65 percent of new jobs.

"The majority of the Black-, Brown-, Indigenous- and women-owned businesses that we will advocate for are small businesses,” Taylor said. “Let's be clear: stronger Black-, Brown-, Indigenous- and women-owned businesses will result in a stronger Portland. We want to set the mark for exemplary representation not only for Oregon, but for the entire country."

Taylor holds a Masters of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Education from the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.

Since 2019, he has served as senior director of procurement for KIPP Texas, a network of public charter schools. Prior to that, he was executive director of procurement for the School District of Philadelphia, where he led the development of a procurement strategy for 220,000 students at 240 schools.

In both positions, Taylor built community partnerships and diversified the businesses receiving public contracts. Under his leadership, the School District of Philadelphia increased the percentage of contracts awarded to women and people of color by 17 percentage points in two years.

Taylor will play a key role in similar efforts at the City of Portland. In partnership with community stakeholders, a holistic review of the City’s equity in contracting programs is underway – and is expected to improve outcomes.

The chief procurement officer regularly presents reports at City Council meetings and works directly with the City's elected leaders, bureau directors and financial and legal staff, and external stakeholders including partner jurisdictions, community groups, contractors and vendors, and customers.

“Biko is the right leader to make sure we invest meaningfully in our local economy – and elevate procurement as a strategic function of the City,” said Michelle Kirby, the City’s chief financial officer. “He brings procurement and contracting expertise, demonstrated success in advancing equity, and a skill for building relationships both within and beyond his organization. I’m excited to introduce him to Portland.”

Read the City of Portland’s latest Procurement Annual Report.