Paul Evans was born in Salem, Oregon. Raised in the small town of Monmouth, Evans graduated from Central High School (Independence, Oregon) in 1988. At age 18, he was elected to serve his community as a city councilor, one of the youngest elected leaders in the nation. Like his cousin, father and uncle before him Evans joined the volunteer fire department and served with Polk County Fire District #1 throughout college. Following graduation from Western Oregon University (Western Oregon State College) in 1992, he signed up with the United States Air Force earning a commission 31 March 1993 and qualification as an Air Weapons Controller.
Evans spent a little over four years on active duty with the 728th Air Control Squadron with missions throughout Central/South America, Europe, and Southwest Asia. Upon completion of his initial military commitment in 1997, Evans returned home to continue his education and begin a civilian career. He returned home to lead the city as Mayor, serving in the Oregon Air National Guard, educating students at Western Oregon University and Oregon State University, teaching Sunday school at Monmouth Christian Church, working with the Monmouth-Independence YMCA to support youth programs, and volunteering as a senior firefighter with Polk County Fire District #1.
Shortly after the September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the 116th Air Control Squadron, Evans' Oregon Air National Guard unit, was recalled to active duty. For most of 2002 he collaborated with city leaders and community members from locations around the country. Knowing that his skills were needed in the evolving Global War on Terror, Evans chose not to run for a third term of office. Since 2002, he has served on active duty overseas including Iraq in 2003 (and 2005) and Afghanistan in 2006, as well as on a priority homeland security missions throughout the throughout the Continental United States.
After returning from Iraq in 2005, Evans returned to teaching at Western Oregon University. He ran for the Oregon State Senate (District 10) in 2006. Despite a spirited campaign Evans lost the election. Ironically, he was in Afghanistan during the last phase of the campaign because of an unanticipated deployment schedule change. Upon return from overseas, Evans was asked to join the senior policy staff of Governor Kulongoski. He served the Governor as a senior advisor for Emergency Management, Military, and Veterans’ Affairs for just over three years.
During his tenure, Evans led recovery planning for the TOP-OFFICIALS IV exercise (the largest homeland security exercise in US History), directed initial state-level storm recovery efforts in response to major disasters throughout Northwest Oregon in 2007 and 2008, coauthored the Governor's Recovery Framework in 2008, collaborated with appointed and elected state leaders on regional preparedness and resiliency initiatives, and served as the Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Veterans' Services. He continues to work on veterans’ initiatives as a “hobby lobbyist” with 21st Century Veteran.
Evans departed the Governor's Office in April 2010 to accept the position of Chief, Protection and National Security Division for High Impact Technology (HIT). His portfolio included oversight of emergency services equipment and infrastructure product development, marketing, and sales. This work provided him with added exposure to international issues with an emphasis on trade within the Pacific Rim. Evans left HIT in February 2012 to found Mayberry Enterprises (a policy consulting business) and Northwest Passage Trading Company (an import/export business).
Paul Evans continues to teach communications, politics, and veterans’ policy as an adjunct professor at public colleges and universities throughout the Willamette Valley, and serves as the Advisory Board Chair for the Portland State University Emergency Management & Homeland Security Professional Training Program. His weekly radio show, “In the Arena with Paul Evans” can be heard every Tuesday morning on KMUZ 88.5 or webcast available at www.KMUZ.org. Evans released VeteranSpeak: An Introduction to the Language of Veterans’ in September 2012. Framework in 2008, and served as Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Veterans' Services.