Brian Shipley Resigns as Kate Brown’s Chief of Staff
Friday, November 20, 2015
Brown praised Shipley for his “dedication, compassion and keen understanding” during his time on her staff.
“Brian’s dedication, compassion, and keen understanding of state government were an incredible asset to the state,” Brown said. “He stepped up to serve at a unique and difficult time for the state, and I will be forever grateful to him personally for his dedication and his hard work.”
Brown announced that Kristen Leonard, formerly director of Public Affairs at the Port of Portland, will replace Shipley as chief of staff. Before joining the Port of Portland, Leonard was owner and operator of C&E Systems, a Portland-based company specializing in government relations, financial services, and software development. Leonard has also served as vice president Oregon Capitol Club and holds a degree in the communications from the University of Arizona.
“I am honored that Kristen Leonard has answered the call to serve in this very difficult job," Brown said. "I am highly confident that both I and the people of Oregon will benefit from her experience, judgment, and commitment to public service."
Kristen Grainger, the Governor’s communications director, will serve as acting chief of staff while Leonard wraps up existing Port responsibilities.
Related Slideshow: Governor Kate Brown Announces Executive Team Staff Members
Brian Shipley - Chief of Staff
Brian comes to the Governor’s Office after having served in the government relations department at Oregon Health & Science University. Prior to that, he held positions throughout state government, including serving as Kate Brown’s Deputy Secretary of State and as a member of Governor Ted Kulongoski’s executive team. He also was Chief of Staff for the Senate Majority Leader and Director of Legislation for the Peter Courtney, President of the Senate.
Benjamin Souede - General Counsel
Ben graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and cum laude in 2002 from Harvard Law School. After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Susan P. Graber of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After completing his clerkship, Ben moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as a Senior Advisor to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).
Ben began his legal practice with the leading D.C. litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP. Upon returning to Portland, he continued in private practice as an attorney, first with Lane Powell PC and then as a founding attorney of what is now the Angeli Ungar Law Group LLC. He is also a founding member of the Advisory Board to the Oregon Innocence Project.
Kristen Grainger - Communications Director
Kristen graduated from the University of Washington in 1988, and has been vice president and assistant to the president at Willamette University since 2002. Prior, she worked in Oregon state politics for more than 13 years as a journalist, political advisor and legislative advocate, including service with Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers from 1996 to 2002, and communications director for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.
Gina Zejdlik - Senior Policy Advisor
Gina is a graduate of the University of Washington and Notre Dame law school. She previously worked as a Deputy Legislative Counsel for the Oregon Legislature with an emphasis on government ethics, redistricting and election law. After serving as Legislative Director for Secretary of State Kate Brown, she was appointed Interim Elections Director. Most recently, Gina served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State.
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