Jeanne P. Atkins was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Kate Brown when she became Governor and was sworn in on March 11, 2015. Jeanne first moved to Oregon in 1973 with her husband John. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and received her law degree from the University of Oregon,School of Law in 1978. Her entire career has been in public service through non-profit organizations and in state government administration.
Jeanne recently retired from the staff of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, where she had served as State Director since 2009. Previously, she was Chief of Staff to the Oregon Speaker of the House of Representatives, and before that, the manager of the Women's and Reproductive Health Section of the Oregon Department of Human Services' Office of Family Health. She has also served as Staff Director in the Oregon Senate Majority Office and worked in public affairs and policy analysis for nonprofit organizations such as the United Way of the Columbia/Willamette, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, and the Women's Equity Action League in Washington, D.C. She has been a policy advocate, an administrator of state services and a manager for more than 30 years.
On her appointment, Jeanne stated: "I share the values and enthusiasm for this position that Governor Kate Brown demonstrated during her tenure." At her swearing-in, she emphasized her commitment to fulfilling the opportunity given her to protect and strengthen some of our deepest values as Oregonians: free and open elections, transparency in government, public access to our state's history and accountability by state agencies and offices.
Secretary of State
136 State Capitol Building., 900 Court St. NE, Salem 97310-0722; 503-986-1523
The secretary of state is one of three constitutional officers of the executive branch elected statewide. The secretary serves a four-year term and can hold office for a second consecutive term.
The responsibilities of the secretary of state include leadership roles in the following areas.
Chief elections officer: The secretary interprets and applies state election laws, compiles and publishes the Voters’ Pamphlet and supervises all elections, local and statewide.
Auditor of public accounts: She examines and audits accounts of all publicly funded boards, commissions and agencies.
Corporation Division: The secretary keeps public records of businesses authorized to transact business in Oregon, nonprofit corporations, and trade and service marks. Other public business records include notices of security interests in movable and personal property, statutory liens, and warrants.
Chief records officer of the state: The secretary houses and provides access to the permanently valuable records of state government through the Archives Division and provides storage for inactive state agency records through the State Records Center.
State Land Board member: The secretary shares responsibility with the governor and treasurer for supervising and managing state-owned lands.
Oregon Sustainability Board: The secretary serves as chair.
The secretary is custodian of the Seal of the State of Oregon, and she regulates Oregon notaries
public. She also publishes the Oregon Blue Book.
If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office passes to the secretary of state. There is no lieutenant governor in Oregon.