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News Release: PBOT announces experienced public sector manager and transportation policy expert Chris Warner as new Assistant Director

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(September 15, 2016)  – Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced that Chris Warner will join PBOT as the bureau’s new Assistant Director. Warner, currently Commissioner Steve Novick’s Chief of Staff, will bring over two decades of government and public policy experience to the position. Warner will start on November 14th and will replace current Assistant Director Maurice Henderson, who has been named Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler’s Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Initiatives.

“I asked Chris to join PBOT, and I’m thrilled that he agreed to take this position,” said Director Leah Treat. “As Commissioner Novick’s Chief of Staff, Chris has been a partner with PBOT on some of Portland’s most important transportation initiatives, including Vision Zero, Fixing our Streets, BIKETOWN and the overhaul of the Private-for-Hire system. Having served for six years as Governor Kulongoski’s senior transportation advisor, he has key relationships around the state. This wealth of transportation expertise and government experience will be invaluable as PBOT moves forward with its mission to get Portlanders from place to place, safely, easily and sustainably.”

“Chris is the ideal choice for this position,” said Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick. “Over the last four years, I have consistently relied on Chris’s policy expertise and sound political judgment. In fact, one of the key reasons that I requested to oversee the Bureau of Transportation is that I wanted Portland to benefit from Chris’s broad transportation expertise. I extremely grateful for his wise counsel and his dedicated service to the people of Portland. He’s an effective manager and has guided my office with a sure hand. I’m confident he will have an immediate impact at PBOT; the bureau is lucky to have him."

"Chris embodies the required knowledge, insight and experience from all levels of government I would expect this position to hold,” said Alando Simpson, member of the Oregon Transportation Commission and Vice President and owner of Rose City Disposal and Recycling. “I'm looking forward to seeing what types of sustainable and innovative approaches he brings to the table for PBOT and most importantly, the City of Portland!"

Along with Governor Kulongoski and Commissioner Novick, Warner has held senior management and leadership positions with Senator Ron Wyden and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith. He also worked as a legislative assistant responsible for transportation issues for US Representative Peter DeFazio. As Senior Transportation Policy Advisor for Governor Kulongoski, Warner successfully shepherded both the original 2005 ConnectOregon legislation and the 2009 Jobs and Transportation Act, the largest transportation in state history, through the Legislature.

To facilitate a smooth transition, Warner will remain with Commissioner Novick through early November. He will be succeeded by Katie Shriver as Commissioner Novick’s Chief of Staff. Maurice Henderson will join Mayor-elect Wheeler’s transition team starting November 1st.