SALEM, OR -- Oregon's next Secretary of State has worked for elected officials and nonprofits, although has never been elected to office. Governor Kate Brown named Jeanne Atkins to the post, saying she "will serve Oregon with integrity, transparency and good sense."
Atkins recently retired from the staff of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), where she served as state director. Prior to Senator Merkley's office, she worked for the Oregon Speaker of the House and the Department of Human Services. Atkins also worked in public affairs and policy analysis for several nonprofit organizations, including United Way of the Columbia/Willamette, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, and the Women's Equity League in Washington, D.C.
Atkins is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday, March 11th.
Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after Friday's announcement:
"Governor Brown couldn't have picked a more dedicated and experienced public servant to become our next Secretary of State. Jeanne Atkins is a true Oregon gem and supremely qualified. I've personally witnessed her strong leadership in her roles as my Chief of Staff, when I served as Speaker of the Oregon House, and as Oregon State Director of my Senate team. I know she will do a wonderful job as Oregon's Secretary of State."