March 16, 2015
City Commissioner Nick Fish announced the appointment of Sonia Schmanski as his Chief of Staff, effective today, March 16, 2015.
“Sonia Schmanski joined my team about the time I came to City Hall and has a depth of experience across all of our work here,” said Fish. “I’m delighted that she’s agreed to be my new Chief of Staff.”
Ms. Schmanski joined the staff of Commissioner Fish in the fall of 2008 as a temporary staff person, and rose through the ranks.
She has held numerous leadership positions in the office, including acting as bureau liaison and advising the Commissioner on a range of citywide issues including land use, transportation, housing, utilities, and planning.
From January 2012 through early February 2013, she was Commissioner Fish’s liaison to the Portland Housing Bureau. In that role she facilitated implementation of the Commissioner’s Fair Housing Action Plan; the successful conclusion of the City’s 11x13 housing preservation campaign; and the opening of Gray’s Landing, which brought the South Waterfront its first affordable homes.
From June 2013 until her appointment as Chief of Staff, Ms. Schmanski served as liaison to the Portland Water Bureau, managing the roll-out of key utility reforms. Those reforms included the Blue Ribbon Commission launched in the spring of 2014, development of a new policy to guide the disposal of surplus property, the launch of monthly billing, and a groundbreaking new partnership with the Citizen’s Utility Board of Oregon.
“I’m honored by the opportunity to serve Commissioner Fish and Portlanders in this new role,” said Ms. Schmanski. “Working in City Hall is both challenging and rewarding. I look forward to leading our terrific team.”
Ms. Schmanski studied International Relations at Boston University and spent time at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars before returning to Portland in 2008. A 6th-generation Oregonian, she grew up in the Grant Park neighborhood of Northeast Portland, and now lives in St. Johns.
Andrew Theen in The Oregonian