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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Meet the Director's Team

Maurice Henderson II
Assistant Director

Maurice A. Henderson II joined the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) in April 2015 after spending nearly a decade of service in a variety of executive leadership roles for the past three mayors of Washington, DC, including DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Before his appointment as the PBOT Assistant Director, he served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), an agency with an operating budget of over $100 million and responsible for operating over $1 billion in municipal IT assets 

He also managed the most successful census count in the history of the District of Columbia as the DC Counts Campaign Director starting in October 2009 leading the process to engage, educate and mobilize the District's residents to participate in the 2010 US Census, which translated into billions in federal assistance for the District of Columbia. He began his District Government career in the summer of 2007 by serving as the Chief of Staff for OCTO under then-CTO and first U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. 

Prior to arriving in the District to serve in the Fenty administration in July 2007, he was appointed as the Deputy Press Secretary for then-Virginia Governor and now-U.S. Senator Tim Kaine where he was the governor's traveling press and logistics point person. 

Henderson has also worked across the country on a number of political and advocacy campaigns and projects focused on economic opportunity and equity, including working for the United Steelworkers International (USW) out of its Pittsburgh headquarters. He also has both domestic and international experience in business development and education having spent nearly four year living and working abroad in Hungary, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. 

He holds a bachelor's degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond and master's degree in Public Administration from Sojourner-Douglass College as well as teaching certificates for English as Second Language and Business English. Contact Maurice Henderson II.

  

Dave Benson
Parking Services Group Manager

Dave Benson was appointed as the Parking Services Group Manager in August of 2015. In this role, he oversees the Parking Enforcement, Parking Operations and Regulatory Divisions. Prior to joining PBOT, Dave worked at the Portland Police Bureau for over three decades.  During his career, he served in a variety of leadership roles. Most notably, he was the supervising commanding officer of Police Bureau divisions including:  Central and Southeast Precincts, the Drugs and Vice Division, the Tactical Operations Division and the Training and Education Unit.  Dave also played a prominent part in ensuring that police bureaus throughout the state had a robust pipeline of future recruits. From 1998 to 2001, he served as the state director of the Oregon Police Corps, an ROTC-like scholarship program for college students aspiring to be police officers.

Outside of the workplace, Dave has been a volunteer athletic coach and, for over 20 years, an adjunct faculty member at a number of area colleges and universities teaching courses ranging from law enforcement surveys to strategic planning and budgeting. 

Dave has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Administration degree from Portland State University. Contact Dave Benson.

  

John Brady
Communications Director

As the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Director of Communications and Public Involvement, John and his team plan, design and implement the initiatives to communicate with and engage Portlanders about the many facets of PBOT’s work.  

John’s career as a public policy and communications professional spans a decade and includes experience in both the public and private sectors. Recruited by Nike to join the company’s Global Communications team, John wrote speeches and other communications for the company’s CEO and other members of the company’s executive team.   

Before joining Nike, John spent eight years in Los Angeles City government, including with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering and with the administration of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. As a member of the Mayor Villaraigosa’s administration, John worked on a diverse range of issues, including  

the modernization of LAX, the historic expansion of the city’s transit system; affordable housing and transit oriented design; the foreclosure crisis and neighborhood revitalization; neighborhood councils and expanded community engagement; and the City’s budget and its fiscal crisis. John was a key contributor to the administration’s response to the foreclosure crisis, an effort that included working with key non-profit groups, financial institutions and the media to increase the access of Angelenos to free and reliable foreclosure related resources. As Transportation Policy Director, John led the Mayor’s Office’s initiatives related to bicycles, including coordinating legislative strategy on bicycle issues and monitoring the implementation of the City’s bicycle master plan. As the Mayor’s Deputy Director of Communications and Principal Speechwriter, John wrote the Mayor’s speeches for local, state, national and international audiences. Speech highlights include Villaraigosa’s 2012 and 2013 State of the City speeches, his two national addresses as President of US Conference of Mayors, the speeches during his trade trips to China and Latin America as well as his remarks marking the historic visit of China’s Vice President Xi Jinping to Los Angeles.  

When not practicing politics and public policy, John enjoys teaching it. With a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, John has taught at various colleges and universities including UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, the University of Southern California, Pomona College and California State University, Northridge. He has lectured on and presented his research at conferences throughout the United States and in Europe. 

John graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University. He lives in Portland with his wife and two young sons. Contact John Brady.

  

Suzanne Kahn
Maintenance Operations Group Manager


Suzanne has been the Manager of PBOT’s Maintenance Operations since 2007. She is responsible for managing an organization of about 350 employees who maintain streets, sidewalks, sewers, signs and other public infrastructure across Portland. The maintenance group also takes a lead role in City response to emergencies such as wind and snow storms and earthquakes.

Suzanne has reduced budget and staff for five years without a loss of productivity or significant layoffs, implemented asset management practices, and implemented a federally funded study of health impacts on workplace safety jointly with Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University.

Prior to her work at PBOT, Suzanne worked as the City’s Human Resources Site Team Manager following a long career in Human Resources at the Multnomah County Health Department. She was instrumental in the creation of the Cooperative Leadership Institute, which helps provide quality leadership training and education for emerging City leaders. 

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin. Contact Suzanne Kahn.

 

Christine Leon
Development Permitting and Transit Group Manager


Christine has been the Manager of PBOT’s Development Permitting & Transit Group since her interim appointment in December 2013. For six years prior, Christine was the Principal Engineer in charge of Development Services and Street Systems Management Division, where over 41,000 permits, requests, and inspections are reviewed each year. She has also managed the Bureau's Civil Design Section and developed Oregon’s first local agency certification for federally funded projects.

As group manager, Christine is responsible for 80 staff. Her organization regulates the permits use of the right-of-way and is also in charge of development review, right-of-way leases and acquisitions. Her group oversees operation and maintenance of the Portland Streetcar and Portland Aerial Tram.

Before joining PBOT in 1992, she was Area Engineer for the Federal Highway Administration and has worked in Salem, Oregon, Virginia and Maine. Christine has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University. Contact Christine Leon.

 

Alissa Mahar
Executive Director of Finance and Business Operations


Alissa moved to PBOT from the Housing Bureau in 2012 and oversees the Finance and Business Operations Group, which includes Finance and Accounting, Asset Management, Business Technology, Employee Services and Administrative Services. Business Operations is comprised of about 65 employees.

Major initiatives completed by the Finance and Business Operations Group since Alissa’s arrival include the creation of an Annual Business Plan, creation of the Annual Performance Report – Portland on the Move, creation of the web-based Performance Dashboard, convening an external Financial Task Force to identify new funding sources to pursue, overseeing the Our Streets PDX initiative to generate additional funds for maintenance and safety, development of complex financing packages for the Sellwood Bridge and Portland Milwaukie Light Rail, conducting a comprehensive Customer Intake Review in order to streamline access to PBOT programs and services, early work on a cloud-based customer relationship management tool for PBOT, implementing GovDelivery for improvement communication with residents of Portland, rollout of mobile timekeeping for field crews, advancing mobile payment capabilities in multiple business lines, development of the Hiring Manager Checklist to help navigate a complex hiring system, implementation of electronic workflow and signature approvals for human resource actions, establishing a hybrid administrative structure to ensure core services and programs are supported, creating user-friendly financial reporting through the "Where the Money Goes" illustration and other key financial documents and providing media budget briefings, implementing Council-adopted pilot program to increase MWESB utilization on architectural & engineering contracts, initiating electronic files transition for PBOT in advance of Portland Building move out, advancing the development of the employee remote work program, and implementing Safety Tailgates to reinforce safety messages for field crews.

Alissa has served or currently serves on the citywide Employer of Choice Steering Committee, the Executive Steering Committee for the City/OHSU Tram, the PBOT Labor/Management Committee, the PBOT Equity Team, the citywide Business Hour Committee, the Portland Building Design Committee, the PBOT/BES Leadership Team, and the Fixing Our Streets Steering Committee.

Alissa worked for four years at Housing and prior to that she spent 15 years at Portland Fire & Rescue, as well as four years combined in the Office of Management and Finance and the Bureau of Development Services (formerly the Bureau of Buildings). She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Portland State University. Contact Alissa Mahar.

 

Art Pearce
Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager


Art has worked for PBOT since 1998, working as Group Manager since December 2013. He oversees the Transportation Planning, Project Management and Active Transportation divisions, which employee about 60 staff. The group takes transportation ideas from long-range planning and policy realms, through project development all the way to construction.

Prior to his current position, Art was a Senior Capital Project Manager for PBOT, working on projects focused primarily on public transit corridor development and neighborhood revitalization. Projects included the planning and implementation of Portland’s South Waterfront District and the Portland Aerial Tram. In 2009, Art led the planning and funding for the reconstruction of SW Moody Street including a $23 million dollar “Innovation Quadrant” TIGER Grant award.

Art has a Bachelors in Urban Studies from the College of Wooster and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. Contact Art Pearce.

 

Steve Townsen
City Engineer
Engineering Group Manager


Steve has worked for PBOT since 1997 and has been in his role as City Engineer since 2005. In that capacity, he manages the work of Engineering Services, which include the following sections: Surveying, Bridges & Structures, Civil Design, Construction/Inspection, Pavement Management, and Signals and Street Lights.

As group manager, Steve is responsible for about 125 employees. Steve has 20 years of experience in civil engineering, surveying, and construction. During his time with PBOT, he was instrumental in the construction of the Sunderland Yard recycling facility, and the road networks for the New Columbia and Cascade Station developments.

He has Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, Mathematics and Mathematics Education from Oregon State University. Contact Steve Townsen.

  

Zan Gibbs
Equity and Inclusion
Program Manager

Zan Gibbs is responsible for developing, implementing, supporting and managing PBOT’s equity and inclusion initiatives and polices. This includes working with the Office of Equity and Human Rights on a Bureau wide racial equity assessment and 5 year action plan, managing our Title VI language translation and interpretation needs, advising program staff on the usage of equity lens tools and supporting the Bureau’s overall advancement of cultural responsiveness.

Zan has spent the last 20 years working on various social justice initiatives in the non-profit sector in Portland. Zan has co-founded and managed two local organizations that focus on community change and anti-racist practice, one with a focus on high risk young people and the other focused on mobilizing allies in the racial justice movement.

Zan has also worked for Western States Center, Center for Diversity and the Environment, Del Agua and Home Forward as a trainer and organizer, focused on program development and implementation.

Zan has a Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis on multi-cultural program development, and is a huge fan of Ted Talks.  Contact Zan Gibbs.

 

 

 

 

(Photography by:  Felicity J. Mackay/Portland Bureau of Transportation)