Birol A. Yeşilada Named Director of PSU’s Mark O. Hatfield School of Government
Author: College of Urban and Public Affairs
Posted: May 22, 2018

Birol A. Yeşilada, PhD, has been named the new Director of the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University (PSU). Yeşilada is a professor of Political Science and International & Global Studies, the endowed chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies, Director of the Center for Turkish Studies, and the former Director of the Middle East Studies Center. He assumed the role of Interim Director of the school in July of 2017, and was offered the permanent position earlier this month.

Yeşilada received his B.A. in Neurobiology from the University of California at Berkeley, his M.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He came to PSU in 1998 from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was Chair of the Department of Political Science. Yeşilada also serves as a policy consultant to a wide variety of think tanks and agencies, is the published author of seven books and more than 30 articles and book chapters, and is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and a Dean’s Scholar Award at PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs. In the local community, Yeşilada has been an active leader in Rotary International and community projects in Tigard, Oregon.

“I am delighted that we have been able to recruit Professor Yeşilada to the position of Hatfield School Director,” says Stephen Percy, Dean of PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs. “He is committed to advancing public service, educating future public affairs leaders, and promoting the legacy of Senator Hatfield in public policy that advances the lives of people served by government.”

The appointment is especially meaningful to Yeşilada, who was a close friend of colleague of Mark O. Hatfield’s. The two met when Yeşilada first moved to Portland, and they had lunch together regularly at Higgins Restaurant to “discuss the challenges facing society,” Yeşilada says. “Mark O. Hatfield was a rare, great statesman who left behind some very big shoes to fill,” says Yeşilada. I am excited and honored to build upon his legacy of public service, mentoring, peace, sustainable growth, accountable government, and civic civility.”

Yeşilada says his goal is to continue to elevate the Hatfield School’s presence in the Portland area, the state, and beyond.