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Oregon Governor Tina Kotek
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 19 April 2024

Yesterday, Gov. Tina Kotek announced Chris Warner as her permanent chief of staff and named additional staff to her executive leadership team. She also named a new Housing and Homelessness Initiative director. Prior to his new role, Warner was Kotek’s deputy chief of staff of public administration, where he oversaw the office’s efforts to better align the governor’s oversight of state agencies.

chris warner introChris WarnerWith more than 30 years of public policy and political experience, Warner recently served as the firector of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. In that role, he led a diverse 1,000-employee bureau and managed an annual $500 million budget. Prior to that, he served in various roles in Gov.Ted Kulongoski’s administration, including legislative director and senior transportation advisor. Warner, who is originally from Baker City, was also previously a top aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. “Chris Warner brings years of experience leading teams to implement large-scale initiatives, navigating complex budget cycles for both local and state government, and contributing executive-level management skills to challenges large and small,” Kotek said. “I am excited he has stepped up to serve Oregonians in this new role.”

Other changes in the governor’s office include:

  • Taylor Smiley Wolfe, formerly the governor’s Housing and Homelessness Initiative director, takes on a new position as deputy chief of staff for governor’s initiatives. Smiley Wolfe was on the governor’s transition team and has successfully led the governor’s housing and homelessness efforts since the start of the administration. Smiley Wolfe brings leadership experience developing and advancing outcomes-oriented policy initiatives at different levels of government and has previously served as director of policy and planning at Home Forward, the largest provider of affordable housing in the state, and as policy director in the House speaker’s office.
  • Vince Porter, formerly the governor’s economic development and workforce advisor, becomes deputy chief of staff for public administration, taking over for Warner. Porter brings government relations and leadership experience, having previously served as the director of Regence Health Policy Center, where he led advocacy initiatives focused on finding solutions to affordable and accessible healthcare. Porter also served as vice president of public affairs for Strategies 360 and as an economic development policy advisor for Gov. John Kitzhaber and Gov. Kate Brown.
  • Kate Nass, the chief financial officer for the state of Oregon, remains in her position and joins the leadership team to direct the governor’s office’s budget work. Nass brings over 14 years of budget and policy experience, having previously served as the state’s deputy chief financial officer, the Oregon Health Authority’s deputy director of finance and a state policy and budget analyst.
  • Matthew Tschabold will serve as the new housing and homelessness initiative director. Most recently as the governor’s housing advisor, Tschabold was instrumental in passing Senate Bill 1537, part of Gov. Kotek’s priority housing production package, in the 2024 legislative session. Prior to joining the governor’s office, Tschabold served as policy and planning manager and deputy director for the Portland Housing Bureau and has 20 years of experience at the state and local level in community development and planning, public administration and finance.

“These individuals have each meaningfully contributed to the progress my administration has made for Oregonians thus far,” Gov. Kotek said.

“The breadth and depth of experience on this team will deliver results for Oregonians in every part of the state.” The governor’s executive leadership team provides strategic advice to the governor and is now comprised of the following:

  • Chris Warner, chief of staff
  • Taylor Smiley Wolfe, deputy chief of staff for governor’s initiatives
  • Vince Porter, deputy chief of staff for public administration
  • Lindsey O’Brien, deputy chief of staff for public engagement (on leave)
  • Andre Bealer, equity and racial justice director
  • An Do, public affairs and communications director
  • Richard Lane, general counsel
  • Berri Leslie, state chief operating officer and Department of Administrative Services director
  • Bob Livingston, legislative director
  • Kate Nass, chief financial officer

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