Catherine Ciarlo is the new director of planning, development and research at Metro. Metro is our regional elected government that oversees long-range planning and serves more than 1.7 million people in the Portland area with a jurisdictional boundary that spans 24 cities and three counties.
Prior to accepting this position at Metro, Ciarlo had worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation for over five years. She began as Active Transportation and Safety Division manager and most recently served as acting group director of Development, Permitting & Transit. She’s also worked at CH2M Hill (now Jacobs), a planning consulting firm, and she was transportation policy advisor for former Portland Mayor Sam Adams from 2009 to 2012.
Ciarlo has deep roots in Portland’s bicycle advocacy scene. She was the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now The Street Trust) from 1998 to 2005.
Here’s more about Ciarlo from a Metro press release:
As a consultant, Ciarlo managed transit projects and multi-modal street improvements for multiple clients including TriMet, ODOT, Clackamas County and the cities of Spokane, Astoria and Milwaukie. At PBOT, Ciarlo was responsible for managing teams to design and deliver programs that advance the City of Portland’s climate and equity goals. Her portfolio included the city’s bikeshare program, e-scooters, Safe Routes to School, Sunday Parkways and the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative.
In addition, Ciarlo has overseen programs to encourage community use of the right-of-way, and has provided strategic leadership for the Portland Streetcar system.
In each of these areas, Ciarlo says she has worked with her teams to re-orient priorities and programs to serve Portlanders who have not historically had a voice in transportation and planning.
“The Metro region is faced with big challenges and major opportunities in the coming years,” Ciarlo said in a statement. “I am honored and excited to work with community members, elected leaders, and diverse stakeholders to help our region be the equitable, vital place we know it can be. Metro’s leadership is critical to making that happen.”
Ciarlo takes over this role as Metro Deputy Director of Planning Margi Bradway was just last week named as director of community services for Multnomah County.
With the absence of Ciarlo, PBOT now has two holes in its executive team as they continue their national search for a new director.