Senior Budget and Policy Advisor
Background: I’ve spent 7 years designing and facilitating public engagement research projects on behalf of local governments, nonprofit and community organizations, schools, and universities in three states. In past projects, I've worked to address systemic hunger and poverty in rural neighborhoods, develop strategic housing plans, and forefront inclusion and community voices in two city master plans. I have a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno; an M.A. in Communication Studies specializing in Deliberative Practices from Colorado State University; and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from the University of Missouri.
I lead our communications and constituent services team as we work to strengthen relationships with the public through strategic messaging.
Background: I have broad experience in communications and public affairs, working for a variety of elected officials, federal and state agencies, progressive political campaigns, and non-profit organizations. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Emerson College in Boston and a Master's Degree in Politics from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
For Media Inquiries: WheelerMediaRequests@portlandoregon.gov
Senior Policy Advisor
As a native Portlander, no matter where I move to work or study, I always return to my home. Finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems through policy development is my passion.
Background: I am a lawyer, an alumna of University of Oregon School of Law, and earned a master’s degree in Political Science from Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government. I believe politics can be a force for good and worked for Senator Ron Wyden as a legal fellow in Washington, D.C., as well as on various political campaigns throughout the country. I am fluent in Spanish and have worked on immigration issues abroad and in the U.S.
Policy & Outreach Advisor
Background: I have spent 10 years advancing programs focused on environmental work and responsible community development in the greater Portland Metro area. My experience includes the enhancement of watershed areas and green spaces, energy efficiency consulting, and most recently transportation planning with a focus on safe pedestrian infrastructure. I hold a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Director of Economic Development
Background: I have spent 15 years advancing public policy that drives inclusive economic growth, serving as a policy director for Walmart, Inc., a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives, and an advisor for several U.S. Agency for International Development-funded economic development programs, in Afghanistan and Indonesia. I hold a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.A. in Government from Colby College in Maine.
Constituent Services Specialist, Arts & Culture Liaison
I serve as bridge between constituent and our office, building and strengthening relationships with the people of our city.
Background: My previous professional experience includes other governmental entities, non-profit, and education sectors. For example, my roles as an Administrative and Communication Specialist for the Office of Violence Prevention and Administrative Assistant for Lewis & Clark Law School Small Business Legal Clinic. My education: B.S in Health Service Administration and Health Science from Oregon Health Science University & Portland State University School of Public Health.
Director of Community Safety
Background: As a trial attorney with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, I worked to protect the constitutional rights of people accused of crimes ranging from petty offenses to homicide. I then expanded my criminal justice experience with the Office of the Independent Monitor for the City and County of Denver as a Deputy Monitor, where I evaluated and analyzed law enforcement internal affairs investigations and policies. I received my J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and my B.A. with honors in Law & Society from the University of Denver. My entire career has been devoted to achieving fairness and equality in the criminal justice system and I am honored to use this experience to serve the people of Portland.
Constituent Services Specialist
Background: I am an attorney, journalist, pilot, and guitarist. I hold a B.A. in History from Lake Forest College, a J.D. from the University of Oregon, and an M.A. in International Relations and Global Journalism from New York University. Currently, I work as the Senior Defense Editor at 1945 covering politics and national security. My previous experiences include: a US Air Force pilot slot (from which I was medically discharged); a brief stint playing professional hockey, and; various roles related to criminal justice.
Chief of Staff
City Council and Process Policy Advisor
Deputy Chief of Staff
Senior Advisor, Transition & Special Projects
Background: I have a long leadership career in state government, helping public sector organizations, both large and small, achieve outcomes, find efficiencies and work collaboratively. I’ve worked in and with the Executive and Legislative branches of state government and have a great deal of experience working with and supporting elected officials in reaching their policy objectives. My academic background is in music, theatre and dance. I’m an avid reader, accomplished home chef and in my spare time I’m learning to play the sitar. My first job in the public sector was with the City of Portland. I’m happy to come back to it 30 years later and help move the organization into the future.
Communications Specialist - Writer
Background: John was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He graduated from The College of William and Mary and double majored in accounting and government. After college, John worked on various political campaigns at the state level, mainly in field organizing. He attended Portland State University for graduate school in political science, where his academic interests focused on state and local politics.
Policy and Communications Advisor
Background: I am proud to have served my country and community in a variety of ways over my professional career. After graduating from the University of Portland, I spent about 12 years of combined service in the Air Force and Department of State serving in a variety of locations such as Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, South Korea, and Iraq. I returned to Portland in 2016 and joined a young tech startup called NurseGrid, where we found success building a popular nurse scheduling app.
My education includes a Masters of Arts in Intercultural and International Communication from American University in Washington DC, as well as a Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Portland. I love to run, hike, fish, and camp…if it’s outside in the Northwest, I’m happy. I am also a lifelong Blazer fan who always believes next year will be The Year.
Deputy Director of Community Safety
Background: I am a transplant to Portland from Denver where I have spent the last four years working as an attorney for the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. I conducted 25 jury trials and many other hearings dealing with simple allegations all the way up to the most serious crimes a person can be charged with. I spent time in Washington, D.C. working for the National Education Association during President Obama’s second campaign and was able to help advocate for strong public schools and more robust funding. I have had the privilege to stand beside many people as they faced the scariest moments of their lives and help them put those moments behind them. I attended the University of Central Arkansas for my undergraduate degree and I went to the William H. Bowen School of Law for my law degree. My time in public service has taught me that no one is defined as their worst moment and a little help goes a long way.
Communications & Social Media Specialist
I use social media to help Mayor Wheeler connect directly with his constituents and community.
Background: Social Media Manager and Digital Content Producer for KOIN 6 News, Breaking News Editor, Newscast Host & Features Writer for The Jerusalem Post.
Executive Assistant to the Mayor
Background: A lifelong Oregonian, Amanda spent a decade working in public education, where she formed her deep dedication to equity and public service. As Executive Manager to the President at Portland State University, internal and external relationships were key to her success. She is an avid reader and international travel enthusiast. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Certificate in Strategic Communications and Public Relations from Portland State University.