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Meet the Mayor's Team


Sam Adams

Pronouns: he/him/his

Director of Strategic Innovations

Background: I’ve worked as a county government intern, a congressional aide, a campaign manager, a mayoral chief of staff, a member of Portland City Council, a Portland mayor, a nonprofit executive director, an environmental think tank leader for a global organization, a columnist, and a consultant. Growing up gay, with the help of subsidized affordable housing and food stamps, my lifelong passion for public service is dedicated to a common theme: making communities more educated, healthy, sustainable, prosperous, and equitable for all.

Herico Aiten

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Administrative & Communications Specialist for the Office of Violence Prevention and Scheduler for Director Nike Greene

Background: Constituent Services Specialist for the Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Constituent Services Specialist for the Office of City Commissioner Nick Fish. B.S in Social Science from Portland State University and a graduate from Reynolds High School.

Seraphie Allen

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Director of Jobs, Housing and Economic Equity

I advise the Mayor on policy related to housing, jobs, economic development & equity, and human services. I also serve as the Mayor’s liaison for issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

Background: Past work includes political research, working on progressive campaigns, and serving as a teacher and coach. MBA candidate at Willamette University. B.A. in English and Gender Studies from Lewis & Clark College.

Kandel Ashley 

Pronouns: he/him/his

Constituent Services Specialist

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, I grew up and still live in NE Portland. I love gardening and being around my family. In my previous role as a Gang Outreach and Intervention Specialist, I support my community as a mentor and advocate to youth, young adults, and their families impacted or experiencing gang/gun violence. 

Aja Blair

Pronouns: he/him/his

Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to the Mayor

I’m responsible for the daily management of the Mayor’s calendar and appointments. I work with the Mayor’s Management Team to support the office’s internal operations and processes, and I also support the Communications Team with social media content and other written materials.

Background: Administrator at Mayapur Academy in West Bengal, India. Scheduler and Office Manager to Commissioner Nick Fish. B.A. in Arts & Letters from Portland State University.

Hayley Blonsley

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Budget and Central Services 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.

Cody Bowman

Pronouns: he/him/his

Communications & Social Media Specialist 

I help the Mayor’s team build stronger relationships with the public through strategic messaging. 

Background: I have wide-ranging experience in Public Affairs, working for a variety of elected officials, federal and state agencies, progressive political campaigns, and non-profit organizations.

Nike Greene

Director, Office of Violence Prevention

Background: Director of Education and Community Engagement for Portland’5 Metro, Family & Community Engagement Coordinator at Roosevelt High School, current Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Current Roosevelt High Girls Basketball Coach.

Bobby Lee

Pronouns: he/him/his

Chief of Staff

Background: Served as Director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and Director of Economic Development for Prosper Portland. At the state level, served two Oregon governors, focusing on regional economic and community development issues. In the nonprofit sector, served as Director of Organizational Affairs for Worksystems Inc., Oregon’s largest workforce development agency.

Tom Miller

Pronouns: he/him/his

Director, Livability & Sustainability

Sara Morrissey

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Deputy Chief of Staff

Angela Tran

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Business Operations Liaison to the Mayor’s Office

Administrative Supervisor to the CAO’s Office, Business Operations Team.

Background: Senior Administrative Specialist at the City’s Bureau of Emergency Communications. Executive Assistant/After School Program Coordinator at The International School.

Sierra Ellis Turpin

Pronouns: She/he/hers

Operations Manager at the Office of Violence Prevention

As OVP’s Operations Manager, I manage the office budget, the grant reporting for our community based organizational partners and manage the daily operations of the office.

Background: Most recently I was the Special Assistant to the President of Reed College. Before that I was the Constituent Services Specialist to Mayor Wheeler. I have environmental education background in science and found my passion in public service and serving the community. I’m set out to make Portland a more vibrant, safer place to live, work, and play for everyone in our community.

Jenny Villarreal

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Administrative Assistant & Strategic Innovations Group Manager

I’m responsible for the daily management of calendars and provide administrative assistance to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Strategic Innovations Group and Director of Communications. I provide operations management and support to the Strategic Innovations Group and also provide office management support to the Mayor’s Team.

Background: Legal Assistant for Metro, Rate Case Coordinator at Bonneville Power Administration and Design Assistant at Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects.

Mustafa Washington

Program Manager for the Office of Violence Prevention

Background: For previous work in Mayor Wheeler’s office, assisted in implementing the Mayor’s legislative agenda, and managed policy staff projects. Executive Assistant to Mayor Charlie Hales. Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific University.

Shuly Wasserstrom

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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.

Markisha Webster, Ed.D

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director of the City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights and the Mayor’s Special Advisor on Racial Justice and Equity

I lead the City bureau focused on increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in Portland, and I provide guidance to the Mayor’s staff on issues of racial justice and equity.

Background: Served as Director for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Oregon Department of Education, and was Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education at Warner Pacific College. Worked as an assistant professor at both Western Oregon University and Northern Michigan University. Worked as a high school English teacher in Houston, Texas, for nine years.

Ness Zolan

Pronouns: he/him/his

Legislative Director

Background: I have been a Producer at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, General Manager at the Eugene Symphony, and Project Development Analyst at Gigawatt Global in Jerusalem. I studied Music and Economics at UC Santa Cruz, and hold an MBA with specializations in Sustainability and Advanced Strategy & Leadership from University of Oregon. I have an Honorary Certificate in Strategic Development for the Arts from Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru from my work with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. I am a violinist and composer, avid cyclist, and backpacking enthusiast.