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The City of Portland, Oregon

Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization

Unified. Prepared. Resilient.

Phone: 503-823-5386

FAX: 503-823-3903

RDPO Staff

RDPO Headquarters is based at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

Denise A. Barrett, Manager
Office: (503) 823-8632; Mobile (503) 823-8632

Denise Barrett has served as the Manager of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) since August 2011, when she was hired by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, on behalf of partners from around the region to stand up and manage the new organization. The City of Portland is a signatory to the inter‐governmental agreement that formalized the RDPO in early 2015, and PBEM serves as the lead administrative agency providing personnel, including Denise, and administrative, program and financial management support services to the RDPO structure of committees, discipline work groups and inter‐disciplinary task forces.

As RDPO Manager, Denise functions as chief executive, directing and overseeing the day‐to‐day operations of the RDPO, which includes developing and coordinating the multi‐level governance structure; developing and coordinating the organization's communication/information‐sharing and resource development functions; and designing and facilitating participatory multi‐stakeholder strategic planning and program design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation processes to achieve increased and sustained disaster preparedness capabilities in the region.       

Denise has more than 20 years of experience building and transitioning organizations as well as designing and leading multi‐sector humanitarian relief, post‐disaster rehabilitation and community development programs in the U.S., Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. She holds a Master’s degree in International Administration (i.e., Development Management) from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.   

Laura Hanson, Regional Planning Coordinator
Office: (503) 823-9799

Laura joined the RDPO in 2016 to lead planning for the organization, which includes stakeholders from five counties (Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington). Prior to joining RDPO, Laura worked for more than a decade in international humanitarian relief and development with Mercy Corps. She managed a multi-country resilience program focused on disaster risk reduction and market systems development in Asia. She holds a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Seattle Pacific University, and an MBA Certificate from Portland State University’s Entrepreneurial Leaders program.

Laura Hall, Program & Communications Specialist
Office: (503) 823-4359


Laura joined the RDPO in 2017 to provide administrative and communications support for the RDPO staff, committees, discipline work groups, and project task forces. Prior to joining the RDPO, she was the Language Program Coordinator for Portland Community College's Community Education Department. She has also worked as a Program Manager in the Portland State University's Graduate School of Education and Bellevue College's Center for Career Connections. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Portland State University. She spent several years teaching ESOL at PCC, PSU, IRCO, and various other Portland-area community organizations. 

Laura is engaged in a number of community efforts to advance earthquake preparedness. She is a Team Leader for the Arbor Lodge / Kenton Neighborhood Emergency Team and Co-Chair of the group Parents4Preparedness. She manages and teaches disaster preparedness classes at venues throughout Portland, including the Multnomah County Library