Former Mayor Sam Adams Named Executive Director

The City Club of Portland has hired former Portland mayor Sam Adams, a prominent figure in local and regional politics for the past 20 years, as its new executive director.

“Sam is an ideal fit for City Club as we approach our 100-year anniversary,” said Pat McCormick, City Club president. “He has a compelling vision and personal passion for civic engagement and public policy, deep knowledge of the community and a diverse network of relationships among community, business and political leaders.”

The City Club’s choice followed an extensive three-month search process conducted by a diverse committee of City Club members. The search attracted more than 80 applicants from across the U.S. The recommendation from the search committee was endorsed by the Club’s Board of Governors on January 14. Adams will take over as executive director on January 22.

“In my new role at City Club I can continue to encourage exceptional urban public policy in a region I love, on behalf of an organization whose tradition of unbiased, citizen-led policy research remains unique and imperative in today’s hyper-partisan environment,” said Adams. “I also look forward to helping City Club engage a broader, more diverse group of voices from across the community as its research, advocacy and programs evolve.”

Prior to serving as Portland mayor from 2009-2012, Adams was a Portland City Commissioner for four years. He was chief of staff for Portland Mayor Vera Katz from 1993 to 2003, and previously served as a policy assistant for U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio.

As Portland mayor, Adams held national and regional leadership positions, including chair of the Metro Economies Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He served with the National League of Cities and the Oregon Mayors Association. He co-founded All Hands Raised, Greater Portland, Inc. and the Creative Advocacy Network. He is involved with a variety of organizations including Basic Rights Oregon, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Portland Streetcar, Inc. and the Cascade Aids Project.

Adams has a B.A. in political science from the University of Oregon and is a graduate of South Eugene High School.

City Club of Portland is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic affairs organization that promotes civic engagement and active citizenship to build a stronger community. Through unbiased research and compelling programs, City Club connects citizens with ideas and issues that affect our community. City Club is open to everyone who wants to interact with other citizens and shape the future of our city and state, providing a neutral forum for many diverse voices. For more information about City Club of Portland, visit or call (503) 228-7231.

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