Are you an Emerge Alumna? Do we have bad or outdated information about you? Please, let us know and we'd be happy to update your profile!

Oregon State House Representative, District 51

I cannot count how many times I have observed our elected leaders and thought "I care about these issues, I could do that job." About a year ago I challenged myself with, "prove it." However, like many Oregonians, I have little information about how to run a campaign or how to connect with those who do. I am delighted to be a part of Emerge Oregon because it exists for people like me-those who have exciting ideas about how to improve our government but need a crash-course in how to compete in the political horserace. Thanks Emerge Oregon, and as they say, "Giddy-up!"

State Representative & Small Business Consultant

Julie Fahey was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2016 to represent House District 14 (West Eugene & Junction City). Originally from Illinois, Julie and her husband moved to Oregon because of their love of the outdoors and the great sense of community they found in Eugene. Julie has 15 years of experience as a business consultant and is the co-founder of ThreePoint Consulting, which offers human resources consulting services to businesses and education organizations.

Angel Falconer was elected to Milwuakie City Council Position 1 in November 2016. Prior to her election, she served as chair of Milwaukie’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, transportation chair for the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood District Association, and as a member of Milwaukie’s Visioning Advisory Committee. Angel is the Litigation Support Manager at Stoll Berne, where she heads up the paralegal department, manages the firm's e-discovery systems, and oversees electronic evidentiary presentations in arbitration hearings and in state and federal trial courts.

Dana returned last year to her native Oregon after a long career in the U.S. Foreign Service and, prior to that, in academia. She taught International Politics, Law and Organization at George Washington University. After joining the Foreign Service, she served in Haiti, Washington D.C., Paris, Cairo and New Delhi.
Now in Oregon, Dana is seeking opportunities to put her international experience to work to meet the needs of the state's youth and support Oregon's aspiration to become a hub of global green technology.

Sonya has a long history of advocacy for individuals with significant disabilities and their families – both through her work and her service on numerous community organizations. She has worked for the state Department of Human Services and now practices law in Lake Oswego, focusing on domestic relations, special education, guardianships and juvenile dependency. She is immediate Past President of Clackamas Women Lawyers and is a board member of Disability Rights Oregon and the Oregon Trial Lawyer’s Association.

A Portland native, Nikki Fisher attended the University of Tampa where she obtained her B.A. in Government and World Affairs. After college, she worked for the ACLU of Florida on immigration reform, reproductive rights, LGBT campaigns and a variety of other issues. Nikki has experience in Oregon politics as well, including managing Sara Gelser's successful state senate campaign in 2014. Currently, she is the Executive Director of The Bus Project.

Liz Fuller is the managing director of Gard, a corporate advertising and public relations firm well-known for its work in crisis communications, issue management and corporate communications related to regulatory, permitting and litigation matters.
Before joining Gard, Liz danced professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and Oregon Ballet Theatre. After leaving the stage, she established a consulting firm serving arts organizations and elected officials.

Executive Director

Michelle serves at the Executive Director of Oregon NOW, the state chapter of the National Organization for Women. She is passionate about empowering women, both by promoting women’s self-advocacy and political engagement, and by working to improve the systems that women access for their health care, child care, and safety net services.  Michelle also works as a consultant to the Youth Transition Funders Group, facilitating the work of a national network of funders that work together to support the well-being and economic success of vulnerable young people age 14 to 25.

Eugene 4-J School Board Member

Elected to the Eugene School Board in 2009, Jennifer Geller’s believes that the health of Oregon's future depends on our ability to provide excellent educational opportunities for all students. Jennifer is an active community volunteer and mother of two daughters.  She currently works for the University of Oregon School of Law as the Public Law and Policy Program Managing Director.

Kathleen George is the Director of the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. She is a Grand Ronde tribal member and has helped tribal governments accomplish their goals for most of her career. Having worked for Oregon Tribes for 16 years Kathleen has engaged with state and federal government to support healthy rivers and the people who depend on them. Previously she owned a natural resources consulting firm, Cedar Consulting, and worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Rachel Gilmer graduated from Vassar College in 2010 with a degree in American Culture and Africana Studies. As a fourth year student, she received an award for her thesis, a critical analysis of the rise of Barack Obama as both an emerging hero of the African Diaspora and the new face of American hegemonic power. While researching the project, she received a grant to conduct fieldwork in France, where she worked with various civil rights organizations in Paris, studying the impact his presidency has had on Black Frenchmens’ view of themselves and America.

Having lived in Tualatin for over 22 years, Jan is committed to protecting and enhancing the livability and vibrancy of Tualatin and Washington County.  After 30 years in the commercial real estate industry, Jan retired and now enjoys her 3 grandchildren and her involvement in many community and political activities.  She is the primary architect and founding member of Tualatin’s Citizen Involvement Organizations (CIO), established in 2011.  She serves her community in many capacities:  Library Foundation Board, as a Task Force member of the Tualatin Transportation System Plan Update, as presi

Project Coordinator, Western Region Interpreter Education Center at Western Oregon University

CM has long been involved in Democratic and LGBTQ campaigns, having worked as a field operative, campaign manager, constituency outreach director and in fundraising for national and statewide initiatives, as well as nonprofit organizations. She has led fundraising workshops for the Oregon Women’s Campaign School and has provided development training to several nonprofits. In the fall of 2013, CM ran for State Senate to fill Jackie Dingfelder’s seat.

Owner/Operator, CAR'S TOUCH

I have been engaged in politics at the volunteer level in various degrees of intensity throughout my adult life.  My political focus has been on women's issues, GLBT activism, and election integrity issues.

It was a job opportunity and a leap of faith that landed Kathleen and her family in Oregon. This great state is now home and she is excited about its future and hopes to be integral in facing its unique challenges and opportunities.
Kathleen has practiced medicine for over twenty years, and currently is an internal medicine hospitalist in Salem. She has held leadership roles on various healthcare initiatives and professional medical associations.

Geri is a native Oregonian who grew up in Eugene and moved to Bend in 1989. She has been employed with Deschutes County since 1990. When President Obama was elected, Geri was inspired to be more active in the community, joining the League of Women Voters where she currently serves as Co-President.  She also serves on the Executive Board of her union, AFSCME Local 3997, and participates in other volunteer opportunities. In 2012, Geri ran for public office prior to becoming an Emerge 2013 Alum. 

Now that a woman has put 18 million cracks into the highest glass ceiling in our country, the time has come for Oregon to shatter some of its glass ceilings, such as the offices of Attorney General and Multnomah County District Attorney. The Emerge Program will train women, like me, to lead with our heads and our hearts, believing that tomorrow can be better than today because we dared to dream and act. I am ready to shatter the glass and lead Oregon into a future filled with greater opportunity for all of its citizens.

A native Oregonian, Lili is the Policy Director at Family Forward Oregon, an organization dedicated to improving economic policies in our state for women and working families.  She holds a Masters in gender and public policy from the London School of Economics and has been a campaigner and lobbyist in the UK and U.S. Her interests are in social policy issues including older people's care, LGBTQ rights, and women's economic security.

Oregon State House Representative, District 14 - Majority Leader

In 1999, my husband and I decided to move to Oregon with our 2 children based in large part on the strength of the reputation of the Eugene, Oregon public school system - both K-12 and university level. I became politically active in Oregon because I believed that our schools should live up to that reputation. I am currently the Legislative Aide for Sen. Floyd Prozanski and plan to use my experience in politics to help my community reach its potential.

Executive Director, Oregon Center for Nursing

With more than thirty years of experience in the healthcare industry, Mary Rita Hurley has achieved success in practice, administration, academia and consultancy. She has held positions as a clinical nurse, Director of Operations, university faculty, Aging Initiatives Director, and Director of the International Leadership Institute with the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Currently, Mary Rita serves as the Executive Director of the Oregon Center for Nursing.

Mary Rita’s professional career has been dedicated to improving the health and health care of older adults.

Marketing Consultant

Laura Illig is passionate about public service and civic leadership. Laura is President of her own strategic business consulting firm and has spent decades helping companies increase their performance in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, and organizational development.  A firm believer in the transformative power of local government and community institutions, she serves as the Chair of the City of Eugene’s Budget Committee, on the Site Council of her daughter’s middle school, and on the Board of Mother PAC.

Ms. Johnson is an Assistant Disciplinary Counsel with the Oregon State Bar. She began her law career as a Deputy District Attorney in Lane County and recently ended a 13 year career as a prosecutor with Multnomah County District Attorneys Office in 2010. As a prosecutor she supervised the domestic Violence Unit in Lane County and specialized in the prosecution of gang crimes. She was a lecturer on criminal law and trial practice to numerous bar associations, law enforcement agencies and community groups.

Lauren has spent her professional career following her passion for education and the environment. She served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa, helping people overcome food insecurity through sustainable farming practices. She then worked in a management consulting firm working with industries to develop market-based strategies to reduce pollution. Since moving to Oregon, she conducted a capital campaign to purchase and renovate a school site, directed the Salmon Nation festival as a member of Ecotrust's leadership team, and taught in an elementary school.

Originally from Seattle, Emma came to Oregon as a student at the University of Oregon, studying business administration. There she served as a Resident Assistant, President of the student body (ASUO) and as the Oregon Student Association Board of Directors Chair. After graduation, Emma worked on political campaigns and then went on to work for OSA as its Legislative Director. Emma is now the Executive Director of the Oregon Student Association. In her free time not spent in Salem, Emma enjoys hiking, running, surfing, snowboarding, and cooking Italian food.

As a former elementary school teacher and mother, Erika has a passion for working with children and making sure every child is able to grow up to fulfill their potential. She is committed to community service and being a proponent of justice and equity for all.
As she works on her master’s degree in counseling, she has volunteered for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, the local food bank, a hospice organization, and citizenship classes.

Jessica is passionate about supporting families impacted by incarceration and serves as an advocate for these families before elected leaders and through public outreach and education campaigns.
Jessica is a recognized leader in her field – and serves as an adjunct faculty at the Portland State University’s School of Social Work, has presented at local and national conferences and sat on both the statewide, and Multnomah County’s, Children of Incarcerated Parents workgroups.

Being part of the Emerge Oregon training program is a great opportunity for me to explore how I can further my public service experience, broaden the role of women in policy and decision-making, and help support other women candidates. I believe women bring a unique perspective to public policy - one that doesn't always get heard. And Emerge fills a role for women, one that has historically been there for men, who are more likely to be asked to run and have a built-in network from which to launch their political careers. I'm excited to be a part of this first class.

Oregon State House Representative, District 46

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer represents House District 46, which includes parts of NE and SE Portland. She was appointed in 2011 and elected in 2012 and 2014. She chairs the Human Services and Housing Committee and serves on the Health Care Committee and the Joint Ways and Means SubCommittee on Human Services. With a BA from Stanford and an MPH from University of Hawaii, Alissa has spent over 35 years working to eliminate poverty and promote healthy neighborhoods, with a special focus on women and children.

Nasreen is passionate about making positive impact on policies related to health equity, gender parity, education, the welfare of women and children and human rights. She believes that government can be a great force for good in the world – and loves a challenge, overcoming it and learning from the experience. She currently works at the Oregon Health Authority and is pursuing a doctorate in health care. She was appointed by the mayor of Salem to serve on the Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission. She also serves on the board of Salem Peace Plaza and the Salem Multicultural Institute.

Raised in the Midwest, Scarlett moved to Oregon in 1982 and is very proud to live in between the ocean and the Coast Range in the community of Tidewater in Lincoln County. Because of her love for the outdoors and knowledge of the area, Scarlett is a member of the Lincoln County Sheriffs Department Search and Rescue Team.
As a realtor, Scarlett enjoys welcoming new families to her community and engaging on local land use issues. She currently is a board member of Pacific Communities Health District Foundation.

Put Yourself On The Ballot

Learn about the Emerge program and how to apply:

Support Our Work

Emerge Oregon needs your help to expand our training.