About the Office of General Counsel
David C. Reese, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
David Reese is General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. As General Counsel, he is responsible for all legal advice provided to the University and for the management of outside counsel. As Board Secretary, he serves as a liaison between the Board and the campus and provides advice and assistance on issues regarding University governance. He has been at PSU since 2007, has been General Counsel since January 2011, and became the University’s first Board Secretary upon establishment of PSU’s Board of Trustees. He was instrumental in the establishment of independent boards and in developing PSU’s new governance structures. Prior to coming to PSU, he served as General Counsel to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and also worked as an attorney at Stoel Rives LLP in Portland and Bodman LLC in Detroit. A native of Michigan, he earned a B.A. in Political Science from Wayne State University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He was a member of the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners from 2008 to 2014; is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Classroom Law Project, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing civics education in Oregon; and is a board member and treasurer for the West Sylvan Middle School Foundation.
Michael J. Grieser, Assistant General Counsel
Michael Grieser is primarily responsible for business and transactional legal issues for the University. He works closely with Finance and Administration, Purchasing and Contracting, Facilities and Planning and similar units across campus. Michael has been an Assistant General Counsel at Portland State University since October 2011. Prior to joining PSU, Michael served as a Deputy General Counsel for TriMet and an Assistant General Counsel for the Portland Development Commission. Michael earned a B.A. in Philosophy with Honors from Seattle University and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School.
Cindy J. Starke, Assistant General Counsel
Cindy Starke provides advice and assistance on a wide range of legal issues for the University, including student affairs, employment, litigation management, policy development and compliance. Cindy has represented Oregon public universities since 2009, and joined Portland State University’s Office of General Counsel in April 2014. Cindy previously served as assistant general counsel to the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and now serves as a judge on the Warm Springs Court of Appeals. Cindy earned her B.A. in English from the University of Maryland and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as co-chair of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA). She is currently on the board of the Oregon Law Foundation and the Secretary of the Oregon State Bar’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Krista S. Stearns, Assistant General Counsel
Krista Stearns handles a variety of legal matters for the university, including records requests and retention issues, government ethics, policy development, litigation, and transactional matters for the University. Krista joined the Office of General Counsel in September of 2014 after relocating from Alaska where she had a successful career serving public sector clients. Prior to joining PSU, Krista was the City Attorney for the City of Kenai, Alaska. She also served as a state assistant attorney general and worked as an attorney at Boyd, Chandler & Falconer, LLP in Anchorage providing day-to-day legal advice and litigation services to municipalities and small business clients. Krista graduated with honors from Illinois Wesleyan University and earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota. She is currently admitted to practice law in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Annie Kirk, Executive Assistant
Annie has over 25 years’ experience as a Legal Assistant both in the public and private sectors. After attending Business School, where she obtained a Legal Assistant/Assistant Accountant degree, she worked in the private sector before moving to the Department of Justice, Governor’s Office and Portland Development Commission. She has been with Portland State University since 2006.
Shelley Winn, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Shelley Winn is the Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, the Public Records Officer, and she staffs the University Policy Committee. Prior to joining PSU, Shelley served as a Public Defense Analyst at the Office of Public Defense Services for ten years; six years as a Paralegal in the Trial Division, Department of Justice; and two years as Legal Counsel’s Assistant during Governor Kitzhaber’s administration. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Studies from George Fox University. She has been with Portland State University since November 2014.
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