Meet Commissioner Ryan's Team


Kellie Torres

Kellie Torres, Chief of Staff, Commissioner Dan Ryan

Chief of Staff

(she/they) | c: 503-865-6402

Kellie serves as Chief of Staff. She supports Commissioner Ryan’s leadership vision and sets the stage for strategic and productive work in his office. She has more than twelve years of experience as a development professional — raising millions of dollars for city government and non-profits while managing complex relationships and expectations. Kellie is an Indigenous Mexican woman focused on representation and equity in practice. She served as a Development Manager for Portland Parks & Recreation for over ten years, working closely with Commissioner Nick Fish. She also worked five years as Vice President of Strategic Planning for the education non-profit, All Hands Raised — led by Dan Ryan.

Policy Portfolio: City Attorney, Portland Parks & Recreation, Labor Unions, Businesses

Alexa Croft

Alexa, Croft, Constituent Relations Associate and Transition Project Coordinator

Constituent Relations Associate and Transition Project Coordinator

(she/her) | c: 503-865-6259

Alexa Croft grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon, and is a  dedicated professional with a diverse community engagement, office admin work, and production management background. Her experience includes serving as an Office Manager at a genetic medical clinic and an Art Director at a media production company.

Alexa is deeply committed to community engagement, as demonstrated by her creation of an environmental internship program through Central Oregon Community College and her volunteer work for a wildlife rehabilitation center. She is also a talented content creative and digital artist, which led her to open her small-scale photography business- Alexa Media, in 2018. In her new role as a Constituent Relations Associate and Transition Project Coordinator in the Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan, Alexa is eager to apply her skills and experiences to support meaningful projects and engage within the community.

Policy Portfolio: Service Area Leadership Team Communication Coordinator, Commissioner’s Office Social Media, Newsletters, Service Area Communications coordinator

Darion Jones

Darion Jones, Director of Arts & Culture

Policy Director of Arts and Culture

(he/they) | c: 503-865-6790

Darion is driven by a passion and dedication to social justice. A commitment to leveling the field of opportunity so that all Oregonians can reach their full potential is what fuels him.

A tenured Oregonian, Darion believes having a strong network and support system to be essential to thrive in society today. Through his work, he feels empowered to give back to the communities that have supported him along the way.

Prior to joining Commissioner Ryan’s team, Darion served for nearly six years on the communications team at Meyer Memorial Trust—one of the largest private philanthropies in Oregon that commits its position, resources, and energies to dismantling barriers to equity and improving community conditions. Before Meyer, Darion worked on the communications team at Basic Rights Oregon. Following his passions for advocacy, social and racial justice, he has built community and fostered lasting change throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

A former board chair for Q Center Portland and Sankofa Collective Northwest (formerly PFLAG Portland Black Chapter), Darion currently serves as a board member of the University of Oregon’s Pride board, President of City Club of Portland’s Board of Directors, and host and creator of QTPOCTalk, a podcast focusing on the intersections of race, identity, and gender. Darion is also a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon Class of XL.

Policy Portfolio: Arts and Culture, Community Safety

Steve Lee

Steve Lee, Senior Policy and Strategic Transition Advisor

Senior Policy and Strategic Transition Advisor

(he/him) | c: 503-823-8550

Steve Lee is a native Oregonian with over 30 years as a public policy and racial equity leader. Educated as an urban and regional planner, he is experienced in navigating the complex intersection of the natural environment, urban development, land use planning, workforce development, and racial equity. Steve is a result-oriented professional with expertise in collaborative problem-solving, equity-centered decision-making, inclusive community engagement, organizational change, and strategic management.
After 25 years in Washington, D.C. and New York City, he returned to the northwest in 2013 to serve Seattle as a senior policy advisor for the Seattle mayor. Since his return to Oregon in 2019, Steve has served as Governor Kate Brown’s Affirmative Action Manager. In that role, he led equal employment opportunity compliance and workforce equity in the state’s 42,000-person workforce. In addition, Steve was instrumental in developing Oregon’s statewide equity agenda. In July 2021, Steve helped the City of Hillsboro, Oregon, to establish diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Before launching a consulting practice, he held positions at the White House National AIDS Policy Office, National Association of Counties, Oregon Legislature, Oregon Metro, National Institute for Dispute Resolution, and AARP. He is a former adjunct professor of public administration at the New York University Robert J. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a guest lecturer on social conflict at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also in New York.
Steve holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from George Washington University. He lives in east Portland, Oregon.

Policy Portfolios: Bureau of Development Services, Portland Water Bureau, Bureau of Hydraulic Power, Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Multnomah County Animal Control

T.J. McHugh

TJ McHugh, Director of Special Projects & Policy Advisor

Director of Special Projects & Communications and Policy Advisor

Interim Director of Community and Civic Life

(he/him) | c: 503-407-1473 

T.J. has extensive knowledge of communications, strategic planning, marketing, and brand building. With more than 20 years of experience as a global director, T.J. has worked internationally while living across North America, The Netherlands, and Russia, for large brands, including Nike, Target, Macy’s, and Sportmaster. Since returning home to Portland from abroad, he shifted his focus toward making a change in the community. 

T.J. currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Childpeace Montessori School, and as a member of the Board of Directors for Sail2Change. 

After spending 3 years running political campaigns, T.J. joined Portland City Hall in June 2022 in the Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan, focused on Community Engagement, Government Relations, and Special Projects.

Bureau Direction: Acting Director of The Office of Civic Life

Policy Portfolios: Office of Community and Civic Life, Office of Equity and Human Rights, East Portland Action Plan, Media Relations, Economic Development, Multnomah Youth Commission, Fair & Moral Claims Committee, Office of Government Relations, and Portland Fire and Rescue, Prosper Portland

Jill Souede

Jill Souede, Executive Assistant and Policy Advisor

Executive Assistant and Policy Advisor

(She/her) | c: 503-865-6403

A native Oregonian, Jill has more than 20 years of experience in the legal, research and communications fields.  After years of working on political campaigns and serving on various boards around town, Jill joined City Hall in December 2022 in the Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan, where she serves as Commissioner Ryan’s Executive Assistant & Operations Manager and is the liaison to the Portland Children’s Levy.

Jill earned her Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Oregon. She is passionate about social justice and ending childhood poverty, and she is pleased to be working with City Hall to try to make positive change for all communities.

Policy Portfolio: Council Liaison, Constituent Relations Council Coordinator, Office Management