Dr. Markisha Smith will be joining the Office of Equity and Human Rights as its new Director on February 11, 2019.
“Dr. Smith emerged from an extensive interview process, which included 30 community members and City staff―and at least one representative from each of the Office of Equity-supported advisory bodies, said Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Markisha’s leadership experience in Oregon and her extensive government, educational, and community equity work will allow her to make a smooth transition into leading the Office, leading the work of the strategic plan, and responding to the recommendations of the recent stakeholder report.
She previously served as Director for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Oregon Department of Education. Her work is specifically focused on best practice in equity, diversity, and inclusion, culturally responsive practice and closing opportunity/access/belief gaps for historically and currently marginalized groups across the state.
Smith’s previous experience includes working as the Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education at Warner Pacific College―as an Assistant Professor at Western Oregon University and Northern Michigan University, and as a high school English teacher in Houston, Texas for nine years. She is a proud mother of two beautiful children, Cadence and Bryson.