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Two former PBOT staffers take jobs with Biden Administration

Posted by on January 21st, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Left: Maurice Henderson in 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland) Right: Irene Marion in 2019 (Photo by Oregon Walks)

Two former Portland Bureau of Transportation employees have been sworn in by U.S. President Joe Biden for positions within his administration.

Former PBOT Equity and Inclusion Manager Irene Marion will be Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Maurice Henderson, a former assistant director at PBOT, will be Senior Advisor to DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Marion and Henderson are among dozens of appointees announced Thursday. “With the safety of the traveling public and America’s workers at the center of its mission, the team will work toward economic recovery, racial equity, and combating climate change,” said the DOT in a statement.


Prior to his work at PBOT, Henderson served as chief of staff for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and had short stint as TriMet’s chief operating officer. Since leaving PBOT in 2019, Henderson was working in government affairs for micromobility company Bird. He was appointed to a position on the Oregon Transportation Commission late last year. He’ll likely need to step down from the OTC to take his new job in DC. According to ODOT, Henderson has not yet submitted a resignation.

Marion had worked at PBOT for nearly five years before accepting her position. She was key in the agency’s effort to become an antiracist organization. “We’re stoked for her, but sad for us,” PBOT Director Chris Warner shared in a meeting today. Marion is no stranger to Washington D.C. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer for the Congressional Black Caucus during the Obama administration.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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David HampstenOregon MamacitabuildwithjoeZach KPhil M Recent comment authors
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David Hampsten
David Hampsten

You know Portland is a major US city when so many aspiring bureaucrats use the city as a major stepping stone as they move up in their career. I fully expect Leah Treat and Art Pearce to next be hired and sworn in for top USDOT jobs.


Maurice Henderson closed the balcony of city hall for 2 years. That is a direct violation of civil and constitutional rights. They removed seating in the lower level and then made me and my daughter and other people sit for 5 hours in super cold “overflow rooms”. They did this 5 years to turn away people from city hall dialogs.

He is a Ted Wheeler puppet. Maurice is a perfect fit for the corporate Biden regime. Much better than the trump white nationalists though. Yay progress.

Maurice Henderson would not respond to emails or calls. He treats people with contempt. He is deceptive and changed the story from security of throwing things (a lie) to the balconly railing being not safe and people could fall ( also a lie) – He could have closed just the front row of balcony seats if that was true.

Biden will keep funding the “defense” department and double down on giving states matching billions for freeway expansion. We will not get any form of single payer or end to insurance company greed. We will not get student loan forgiveness. We will get our tax money in bail outs for landlords and banks in this housing crisis. They own equity, they can just put things on pause and forgive rent.

Oregon Mamacita
Oregon Mamacita