Welcome Oregon Walks' New Executive Director!

Welcome Our New Executive Director!


Dear friends, partners, and supporters,

 On behalf of the Board of Directors of Oregon Walks, I am delighted to share great news — following an extended search that brought us more than two dozen highly qualified candidates, we have selected Jess Thompson to join Oregon Walks as our next Executive Director and leader to champion walkable communities for all in Oregon.  

 Jess is a lifelong walker, and comes to us with experience as a public school teacher and instructional coach, nonprofit manager at Community Warehouse, and most recently as an equity and inclusion consultant. She is honored to join Oregon Walks in the essential work to ensure all people are able to access walkways that are safe, convenient, and enjoyable. Jess joins the Oregon Walks team as we embark on a new strategic planning process and address challenges in ensuring safe streets for all; she anticipates the coming years will be filled with much listening, learning, and advocating for pedestrian safety with volunteers, community partners, staff, board, and donors.

Jess brings the ideal mix of experience working in intersectionality, equity, and inclusion, a passion for safe streets, and the commitment to coalition building that Oregon Walks prides itself on. We are very excited for her to get started. The board is grateful for the incredible work our staff, Inna, Izzy, and Emily, have done over recent months to further the mission and move Oregon Walks forward, setting the stage for Jess to join an effective, knowledgeable, and highly functional team.

 Jess is looking forward to stepping into her new role on November 13th, and will be available for interviews and meetings starting at that time. However, Jess will be at the Weston Awards on November 2nd - we invite you to come out and say hello! Tickets are available now.

 Please join us in welcoming Jess to Oregon Walks — we can hardly wait for you to meet her.

With warm regards,

Sama Shagaga

President, Oregon Walks Board of Directors