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Mayor Wheeler Introduces Brandy Westerman as Emergency Humanitarian Director to Oversee Homelessness Initiatives

News Article

Mayor Ted Wheeler is pleased to announce Brandy Westerman will serve as Portland’s Emergency Humanitarian Director to oversee the City’s alternative shelter efforts to address an unprecedented homelessness crisis.

Westerman was hired following an international recruitment and search for leaders with direct experience serving vulnerable populations and overcoming humanitarian challenges. She previously led humanitarian response teams in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Yemen, and worked for international non-governmental organizations, most recently in her role as a senior director at Mercy Corps, a Portland-based non-profit.

Westerman will oversee the city’s alternative shelter operations, a critical component of the city’s homelessness response system, including budget, procurement, construction, communications, and project evaluations. As the City begins its transition into a new form of government, the Emergency Humanitarian Director will manage the Safe Rest Villages and Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites programs.

“I am confident Westerman’s extensive experience leading challenging humanitarian efforts will help her succeed in Portland,” said Mayor Wheeler.

Westerman brings a wealth of experience managing teams through crisis and transition – and she’s an accomplished grant writer who has secured funding from a variety of government and private donors.

“I welcome this opportunity to serve a place I’ve called home for most of my life,” said Westerman. “I look forward to building on the work that’s already being done to help people experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Westerman is a longtime Portland resident and holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and economics from Portland’s Lewis and Clark College.