Marissa Madrigal became the chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners last fall following Jeff Cogen’s resignation.

As chair and chief executive, Marissa oversees roughly 5,600 full- and part-time employees who provide services for seniors, the disabled and other populations that need assistance. The county also provides animal services, parole and probation oversight, services for libraries, mental and physical health care, and a variety of other services.

Marissa grew up in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Ridgefield, WA. She earned a degree in zoology from the University of Washington in 1998. Afterwards, she wrote and published a small local magazine.

In 2004, she managed the re-election campaign of then-Clark County Commissioner Betty Sue Morris. She loved the experience and in 2006, took over Jeff Cogen’s run for the Multnomah County Commission.

After his election, Marissa became the District 2 Commissioner’s chief of staff. She later became the chair’s chief of staff, running the day-to-day operations of the office and developing the budget.

Her goals as chair include helping residents gain better access to county programs, finding ways for those who speak different languages to connect better with services, coordinating with other local governments and the Oregon Legislature around program funding issues, and finishing off the budget for the next fiscal year.

“When we make decisions, we need to make sure that we have all voices at the table,” she says. “Government has the responsibility to be ethical, transparent and efficient, but it also should strive for excellence.”

Marissa is a passionate advocate for children, and programs that support their health, education and well-being. She is married with two children and lives in Southeast Portland.