PDC Board Chair Tom Kelly has announced that after a comprehensive nationwide search, the PDC Board of Commissioners will formally extend an offer to Kimberly Branam to become PDC’s next executive director.
As PDC’s deputy director since 2011, Branam oversees the work of the Central City, Neighborhood, and Business and Industry divisions. In addition, Branam steered the development of PDC’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and leads PDC’s partnership with the Portland Housing Bureau on the ongoing implementation of the affordable housing set-aside policy.
Branam becomes just the third woman to lead PDC in the 58-year history of the agency, following Jan Burreson (1993 to 1997) and Felicia Trader (1997 to 2001).
“While we still have a few steps to go in the process, I am pleased with this selection,” said Kelly. “Kimberly has clearly demonstrated outstanding work on behalf of the agency, and that experience has shaped her unique qualifications. Her education and previous work mark her as a dedicated public servant; her love of this city and commitment to equity for all Portlanders make her the best choice to lead PDC’s important work for years to come.”
Mayor Charlie Hales agreed, saying, “Kimberly has been a key architect in PDC’s transition to an agency that focuses not only on job creation and place-making but also on shared prosperity for all Portlanders. She will advance that mission with thoughtful consideration of all our communities.”
“I was honored to participate in the interviews for executive director,” said WorkSystems, Inc. Board Chair James Paulson. “I was impressed by the high quality candidate pool, filled with both national and local talent, and I believe this to be a measure of the desirability and importance of this position. Even more impressive was how clearly Kimberly demonstrated that her vision, experience, and dedication made her the ideal person to lead PDC forward. I look forward to continuing our relationship with PDC under Kimberly’s leadership.”
Prior to joining PDC, Branam spent four years leading Mayor Sam Adams’ economic development agenda, first as then-Commissioner Adams’ senior policy director for economic development and workforce development and then as the mayor’s director of economic development.
Branam attended Colby College in Maine and then worked for the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, focusing on education and community development. After her Peace Corps service, Ms. Branam remained in West Africa as a community development project manager for Catholic Relief Services.
She later earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she also consulted to the U.S. Treasury on the strengthening of targeted public/private partnerships and worked in Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office. Branam is a third generation Portlander and a graduate of Grant High School. She lives in Northeast Portland with her husband and two children.