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Mayor Wheeler hires six new staff members

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Aug 30, 2022 - 11:00 AM

Mayor Ted Wheeler has hired six additional staff members to join his team of diverse and talented public servants.

“I am grateful to my current staff who continue to work hard to address Portland’s challenges, and welcome the new staff members who bring innovative solutions and unique skills to the team,” said Mayor Wheeler.

Harrison Kass

Community Safety Fellow – PSU Hatfield Fellow

Harrison is an attorney, journalist, pilot, and guitarist. He holds a B.A. in History from Lake Forest College, a J.D. from the University of Oregon, and an M.A. in International Relations and Global Journalism from New York University. Previous experiences include: a US Air Force pilot slot (from which he was medically discharged); a brief stint playing professional hockey, and; various roles related to criminal justice.

Rachel O’Flaherty 

Homelessness Issues Project Manager

Rachel has over seven years of experience as a paralegal. She has worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in the areas of medical malpractice & personal injury, insurance defense, land use & real estate acquisition, and public interest litigation. Rachel is currently a rising second-year law student in Lewis & Clark Law School’s evening program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Portland Community College.

John Roble

Communications Specialist – Writer

John was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He graduated from The College of William and Mary and double majored in accounting and government. After college, John worked on various political campaigns at the state level, mainly in field organizing. He attended Portland State University for graduate school in political science, where his academic interests focused on state and local politics.

Dakotah Thompson

Deputy Director of Community Safety

Dakotah worked for the National Education Association in Washington, DC, where he performed national community engagement, monitored polling data, and advocated for public school funding with legislators. Most recently, he has worked in Arkansas and Colorado as a trial attorney representing clients accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to homicide and everything in between. Dakotah and his family are thrilled to continue his public service career in the Mayor’s office and call Portland home.

Amanda Wendelbo

Executive Assistant to the Mayor

A lifelong Oregonian, Amanda spent a decade working in public education, where she formed her deep dedication to equity and public service. As Executive Manager to the President at Portland State University, internal and external relationships were key to her success. She is an avid reader and international travel enthusiast. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Certificate in Strategic Communications and Public Relations from Portland State University.

Eric Zimmerman

Central City Policy Advisor

Eric is a lifelong Oregonian, with 15 years of local, state, and federal experience. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Portland. He previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Multnomah County Commissioner for District 4 and as the Deputy City Manager for two mid-sized cities in Oregon. Concurrently, serving in the Oregon Army National Guard with occasional overseas assignments in Iraq, Kosovo, and Bangladesh. He returned to Oregon in June 2022 from the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh. He is a proud member of Portland’s LGBTQ community and a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum of Oregon.

Source: City of Portland

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