Mayor Wheeler is pleased to announce Sam Chase as the new Director of the Office of Government Relations. Director Chase had previously served as Interim Director of OGR since early 2023 before his permanent appointment to the role. The Office of Government Relations serves to advance the City of Portland’s legislative and intergovernmental policy objectives through effective representation and strategic advice.
“Director Chase has a unique ability to bring people together and get big things done,” Mayor Wheeler Said. “He’s just who we need to lead the City’s Office of Government Relations at this critical time in our history.”
Throughout his career, Director Chase has served in multiple high-profile roles. His involvement in local government includes serving as Chief of Staff to former Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish and as an elected official on the Metro Council. In addition to these roles, he has served as an executive director for multiple housing and health nonprofits.
Chase credits outcome-based planning, collaboration, and strategic communication with helping him champion legislation in state and local government to address poverty through living-wage jobs, affordable housing, homeless services, and environmental protections. His initiatives include tax increment reforms and bonding to secure more than $1 Billion in affordable housing grants, cutting TriMet fares by more than half for low-income riders, and natural area protections along the Willamette River.
“Portland is a special place,” said Director Chase. “I’m honored to lead OGR’s incredible team to advise and represent our city.”