Governor Kate Brown
Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon governor on February 18, 2015 after the resignation of John Kitzhaber. According to the Oregon Constitution, she will serve as governor until the results of the November 2016 election take effect in January 2017.
As Secretary of State, Kate fought to increase accountability and transparency in state government. Under her leadership, Secretary Brown made Oregon friendlier to businesses by creating Business Express, a streamlined website, and forming the Office of Small Business Assistance. Additionally, Kate led efforts to modernize our voting process, developing an online voter registration system and using technology to increase access for soldiers abroad and those with disabilities. She ensured that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and efficiently by auditing state agencies so that they can operate at peak performance.
As a state legislator for 17 years, Kate championed Oregon values by advocating for a searchable online database for campaign contributions to enable Oregonians to follow the money in politics. She was also instrumental in passing comprehensive ethics reforms, a rewrite of the Juvenile Code, mental health parity and comprehensive civil rights laws.
Kate practiced family and juvenile law, and she has taught at Portland State University. She earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental conservation, with a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kate grew up in Minnesota.
Kate lives in Portland with her husband Dan.
Governor Kate Brown
State Capitol Building, 900 Court St. NE, Suite 254, Salem 97301-4047; 503-378-3111
Kate Brown, Salem; Democrat; term expires January 2017.
The governor is elected to a four-year term and is limited to two consecutive terms in office during any 12-year period. The governor must be a U.S. citizen, at least 30 years old and an Oregon resident for three years before taking office.
The governor provides leadership, planning and coordination for the executive branch of state government. He appoints many department and agency heads within the executive branch and appoints members to nearly 300 policymaking, regulatory and advisory boards and commissions.
The governor proposes a two-year budget to the Legislature, recommends a legislative program to each regular session and may also call special sessions. He reviews all bills passed by the Legislature and may veto measures he believes are not in the public interest.
The governor chairs both the State Land Board, which manages state-owned lands, and the Oregon Progress Board, which sets strategic goals for Oregon. The governor acts as the Superintendent of Public Instruction, directs state government’s coordination with local and federal governments and is commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces.
The governor appoints judges to fill vacancies in judicial office, has extradition authority and may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons of criminal sentences.
If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office passes, in order, to the secretary of state, state treasurer, president of the Senate and speaker of the House of Representatives. There is no lieutenant governor in Oregon.