COVID-19 Risk Level for Multnomah County: High Risk

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.

Tim Becker

Pronouns: he/him/his


Public Information Officer

I assist with handling and responding to media inquiries, external messaging and serve as a spokesperson for Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Background: Public Information Officer/Media Relations Specialist at TriMet. Emmy award winning reporter and anchor at KOIN-TV News, KPTV-TV News, KOMO-TV News, KSTU-TV News, KDRV TV News. I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, with a major in Communications and a minor in East Asian studies.

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.

Julia Comnes

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Communications Specialist

Background: Communications and Constituent Relations Coordinator for the office of former City Commissioner Nick Fish. Reporter for the Pamplin Media paper the Woodburn Independent and editorial intern at Willamette Week. B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Samuel Diaz

Pronouns: he/him/his


Senior Policy Advisor

I help the Mayor's office connect with community, business, and nonprofit partners to help build our city back better. I help coordinate the Mayor's COVID-19 recovery and resiliency efforts and advance the Mayor's efforts to improve Portland's livability.

Background: Developed, managed, and implemented community engagement strategies for 1000 Friends of Oregon to help pass Portland Metro’s Climate Smart Strategy, broaden and diversify the number of Oregonians participating in land use issues through the Land Use Leadership Initiative, and create public awareness and support for critical investments. Served Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in California, focusing on strategies to create equitable and sustainable communities and adapt to impacts related to climate change. Served as Program Manager for a conservation philanthropy, focusing on environmental issues in the American West.

Ocean Eale

Pronouns: he/him/his


Constituent Services Specialist

I process constituent contacts, assist constituents through city bureaus, and manage Mayor Wheeler’s inbox. I also handle proclamation requests.

Background: Constituent Relations Specialist for the Office of City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. B.A. in German Studies and a Political Science minor from Lewis & Clark College.

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.

Zach Kearl

Pronouns: he/him/his


Policy Advisor

I serve as a policy advisor on homelessness, alternative shelters, and the impact reduction program.

Background: Before starting in the Mayor’s Office as a Hatfield Resident Fellow, I focused on environmental resource management, including water markets and wildfire risk analysis at the University of Washington (MPA).

Robert King


Pronouns: he/him/his

Senior Policy Advisor on Public Safety

Background: After 27 years in the Portland Police Bureau, I retired in 2018 as Commander of North Precinct. Over the course of my career, I worked with community members and law enforcement colleagues to create a space for encouraging diverse groups of people to navigate their differences and work together. I worked on a variety of assignments throughout my career including serving as a patrol officer, SERT officer, detective, patrol supervisor, and as PPA President. After an eight-month-long retirement, I returned to public service as a safety officer for the Bureau of Development Services. I graduated from Portland State University.

Asena Lawrence

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Senior Policy Advisor, Community Safety

I focus on equity, community engagement, and strategic initiatives that involve the well-being and safety of Portlanders. I am also the project manager for the Mayor's police reform plan.

Background: Senior Policy Director to Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish; longtime member of Commissioner Fish's Council office team (2014-2020). M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University.

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.

Jim Middaugh

Pronouns: he/him/his


Director of Communications

Background: Communications director for Metro. Capital projects manager for Portland Parks and Recreation. Chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten. City of Portland Science, Fish and Wildlife Division manager. Press director for the Environmental Defense Fund. Press secretary for U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio and Jim Weaver. B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Matthew Palmer

Pronouns: he/him/his


Project Manager | Livability & LGBTQ+ Affairs

Background: Legislative Assistant to Senator Gelser. Field Organizer for Team Oregon PAC. Graduated from the University of Iowa with a dual B.A. in Political Science and Ethics & Public Policy.

Allison S. Prasad, Ph.D.

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Policy & Budget Manager, Office of Violence Prevention

Background: People & Culture Analyst, Engagement Specialist, and Affirmative Action Aide within the Office of Management & Finance. Created the City of Portland’s Core Values: Anti-Racism, Equity, Transparency, Communication, Collaboration, and Fiscal Responsibility. B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon, M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership: Diversity Studies from The Ohio State University, and Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning: Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education from The Ohio State University.

Sonia Schmanski

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Deputy Chief of Staff

Background: Chief of Staff to Commissioner Nick Fish 2015-2020, longtime member of Commissioner Fish’s Council office team. Portland native, Grant High School General, and proud Boston University Terrier.

Markisha Smith, 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.

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.

Khanh Tran

Pronouns: he/him/his


Director, Business & Economic Development

I serve as the Mayor’s lead for business development and engagement.

Background: Proudly served in the United States Army. B.A. in Sustainable Urban Development from the University of Washington.

Jenny Villarreal

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Administrative Assistant, Strategic Innovations Group Manager, and Office 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.

Amanda Watson

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Director, Livability & Sustainability

I advance the Mayor’s Office’s work on livability, working with community, nonprofit, business, and government partners to clean up our city and improve environmental health and quality of life for all Portlanders. I also serve as the Mayor’s lead on climate and sustainability policy.

Background: Program Coordinator at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Policy Advisor for the Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler. Prior experience includes research and grantmaking focused on human rights and democratic institutions at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and National Endowment for Democracy. MPP from Harvard Kennedy School.

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.