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About Us

PSU Government Relations is located in the Office of the President. We are the liaison between the university and local, state, and national governments and agencies. In addition, Government Relations helps build governmental support for the university and identifies opportunities for faculty and staff to contribute to the public policy process.

We are charged to support and promote the President’s five themes, they include:

  • Provide Civic Leadership Through Partnerships
  • Improve Student Success
  • Achieve Global Excellence
  • Enhance Educational Opportunity
  • Expand Resources and Improve Effectiveness

Lois Davis

Lois Davis

Vice President for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff

Email: loisd@pdx.edu

 

Lois joined the Portland State family in August 2009 after twenty three years at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).  While at OHSU, Lois served as Vice President for Public Affairs and Marketing and (prior to that) as Director of Government Relations. Lois was recruited to OHSU in 1987 after seven years with then-Congressman Ron Wyden, first as his press aide and later as Chief of Staff. Prior to her service with Wyden, Lois worked as a newspaper reporter at the Springfield News. A 1977 graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, Lois also studied law at Willamette University for two years before leaving to work for Ron Wyden. As Chief of Staff to PSU President Wim Wiewel, Lois is responsible for overseeing the government relations, communications and marketing functions of PSU, as well as helping to implement executive level projects and policies that further the mission, vision and values of the university.

 

Alyson Kraus

Alyson Kraus

Interim Director of State Government Relations

Email:  alykraus@pdx.edu

 

Alyson joined Portland State in January 2013. She is a graduate of Oregon State University Honors College, where she received a BS in Psychology. Since graduating she has received a certificate in Strategic Communication from Portland State State. Her career in Oregon politics began in 2007 when she began interning for Dave Hunt while attending Oregon State University.  After the 2007 Legislative session she spent six additional years working with Dave Hunt and the House Democrats before joining PSU. .Alyson is a Portland native. She and her husband, Max, have two young sons, Elliot and Theodore who keep them both busy and sleep deprived. They enjoy spending time together as a family and are excited to watch their sons learn and grow.

 

Rayleen McMillan

Assistant Director for Government Relations

Email: rayleen@pdx.edu

 

Prior to this position, Rayleen spent three years on the government relations team at Portland Community College, and is also a proud alum of both institutions. Rayleen is passionate about her professional advocacy and feels strongly that quality, accessible public education is altogether crucial to the pursuit of meaningful social change.Rayleen is a self-identified civic participation nerd, and fills her time accordingly. She serves as chair of City Club of Portland’s Government & Public Policy Forum Committee, and has been a very active member of the Club since 2011. An ardent proponent of gender equity and a strong believer in the impact of professional mentorship, Rayleen also serves as chair of the PSU Center For Women’s Leadership Alumnae Committee.When she isn’t enveloped in legislative advocacy or community engagement, Rayleen can be found on her yoga mat; blissfully wandering a bookstore somewhere; or in the audience at one of the region’s many brilliant performing arts offerings.

 

Brooke Gardner

Public Affairs Coordinator

Email: bgardner@pdx.edu

 

Brooke moved to Portland from California's Central Valley in 2010 to continue her education at Portland State University. She received her BS in Environmental Studies and Minor in Sustainability in 2014 and proceeded to work at All Hands Raised, an education non-profit focused on improving education outcomes for k-12 students in Multnomah County. In October 2015, Brooke joined PSU's Office of Government Relations. Passionate about sustainability, equity, and education the move to PSU was a natural fit. In her role as Public Affairs Coordinator, Brooke is the Federal Affairs main contact for internal and external stakeholders; Government Relations Events Coordinator; Calendar Manager for the GR Team; and back-up support for the President's Office. In her free time Brooke enjoys creating; hanging out with her cat, Fred; exploring the Pacific Northwest; and visiting her neighborhood shops and restaurants.

 


Taylor Steenblock

Graduate Assistant

Email: steen2@pdx.edu

 

Taylor graduated in 2013 from the University of Iowa with a BA in Political Science, Pre-Law and a French minor. Her emphases within Political Science were law & politics and international politics. Taylor directly enrolled in University College Cork for a semester during her undergrad and earned a Certificate in Political Issues in European Politics in 2012. She then went on to gain her AS in Paralegal Studies from Kirkwood Community College in 2014. Taylor moved to Portland in the summer of 2014 to begin her career as a paralegal, but after two years of working in the legal field, she decided that a career in public policy was more of interest. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Policy in the Hatfield School of Government at PSU with her primary focuses being homelessness, mental health and criminal justice policies at the local, county and regional levels. In her spare time, Taylor enjoys whitewater kayaking, multi-day raft trips, rock climbing, hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and skiing at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.