Director, First Stop Portland
Phil Keisling (B.A. 1977, Yale) is the director of the Center of Public Service at Portland State University.
Keisling’s public service career includes work as a campaign aide to former Governor Tom McCall (1978); four years as a journalist for Portland’s Willamette Week (1978-81) and three years for Washington Monthly magazine based out of Washington D.C. (1982-84); and as a legislative staff assistant to then-Oregon House Speaker Vera Katz (1985-88).
In addition, he served one term in the Oregon House of Representatives (1989-91) and nearly a decade as Oregon Secretary of State (1991-99).
From 2000 to 2009 he was an Executive Vice President with CorSource Technology group, a Beaverton, OR-based software services company.
Keisling’s non-profit experience includes being a founder of several organizations including the Oregon Progress Forum; the Oregon Public Affairs Network; and Smart Grid Oregon. He has also served on the boards of the Oregon Business Association; the Software Association of Oregon; the Understanding Government Foundation; and Childswork Pre-school.
Associate Director, First Stop Portland
Sarah is the Associate Director of First Stop Portland, a program she helped develop in 2008 while a doctoral student in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her areas of expertise include social equity, urban placemaking, smart cities, climate action planning, and sustainable development. Her work examines how cities learn from each other and innovate.
In addition to her work at PSU, Sarah consults locally on political communications and globally on sustainable urban planning and development efforts. She is a community activist and the owner of a neighborhood restaurant, the Arleta Library, promoting fair labor practices and urban agriculture. She currently serves on the boards of the Halprin Landscape Conservancy, the SoMa EcoDistrict, and the Arleta Triangle Project. Recently, she worked on the update to the City of Portland Comprehensive Plan and the Portland Development Commission Strategic Plan. She is also a member of the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP), an international think tank co-sponsored by the Ecologic Institute and The Atlantic Council of the United States.