Sources: Biden taps PBOT for appointees
President Joe Biden has appointed people with Portland Bureau of Transportation experience to positions in his administration.
One is Irene Marion, who most recently served as PBOT's equity and inclusion manager. She has been appointed to serve as director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Another is Maurice Henderson, who formerly served as PBOT assistant director and chief of staff to Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has been appointed senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The third is Dani Simons, who helped launch Portland's bike share program when she worked for contractor Motivate, who was named assistant to the secretary and director of public affairs. According to PBOT, in her new role, Marion is the designated adviser to the Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to civil rights, and the enforcement of civil rights laws in federally funded transportation programs nationwide.
"Losing Irene is a loss for the city of Portland but a blessing for our country, as she has been a champion of equity and civil rights for all Portlanders." said City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who was recently appointed commissioner-in-charge of PBOT. "This is an excellent appointment by the Biden-Harris administration and sends a positive signal that they are serious about dismantling systemic racism in our federal policies and programs. I offer a heartfelt congratulations to Irene on this opportunity for her to grow her pursuit of racial justice at the national level, and I look forward to working with a federal government that will be a partner with the city of Portland."
The Departmental Office of Civil Rights enforces civil rights laws and regulations, which prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion and age in employment and the provision of government services.
Marion was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica and raised in Portland, where she graduated from Cleveland High School. She holds a bachelor's degree from Howard University and a graduate certificate in sustainability from Portland State University.
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