Chris Warner has been appointed the new director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced Thursday morning. Warner has served as PBOT's interim director since last July, but now will hold the position without that qualifier.
"I chose Chris Warner because he shares my commitment to safety, equity, and sustainability, as do most Portlanders," Eudaly wrote in a statement announcing she had hired Warner. "He understands how difficult it will be to reorient our transportation system to meet the challenges of the future, and I know that he is more than up to the task. He knows our city, he knows PBOT, and he has the skills and experience necessary to turn ideas into actions."
Before joining PBOT, Warner did policy work for several Portland and Oregon politicians, including former City Commissioner Steve Novick, former Governor Ted Kulongoski, and Senator Ron Wyden. He was selected as PBOT director after the city's Bureau of Human Resources conducted a nationwide search that included a 20-person selection panel.
In her statement, Eudaly praised Warner for the work he's done since joining PBOT:
"At my request, Director Warner developed and instituted a new protocol at PBOT to respond immediately to fatal crashes with safety improvements where needed and public notification. He also deserves credit for PBOT's Gravel Street Service that addressed a problem that has frustrated a generation of politicians, policymakers, and community members. Finally, the accelerated timeline on the implementation of Portland's Central City in Motion project is just one of many examples to come of what we can get done together when the values and vision of a Director and Commissioner-in-Charge align, especially with broad community support."
Warner took the job as interim director last year after former PBOT director Leah Treat resigned to work in the private sector.