(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber has named Iris M.D. Bell as Executive Director of the Youth Development Council. Created by the Oregon Legislature in House Bill 4165, the Youth Development Council is charged with coordinating youth support services across the state and streamlining those services to be more efficient, effective, and aligned with education investments.
"Iris brings a wealth of experience working with both public and private partners to advance innovative programs benefitting young people and communities," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Her passion for providing equitable, accessible educational services to Oregonians of all ages, along with her expertise in managing complex organizations and grant programs, will be a benefit to the Council."
Ms. Bell is currently the Deputy Director of the Oregon Commission on Children and Families, where she has been responsible for working with 36 county commissions around the state to provide social services and early intervention programs in local communities. She has also served as the Interim Transition Director of the State Commission on Children and Families since September.
In her new role, Ms. Bell will oversee the Oregon Youth Development Council, which was formed as part of Oregon's efforts to create a more unified education system, from early childhood through careers. The Council will oversee a continuum of programs and services for youth while taking on the responsibilities of entities phased out by HB 4165, including the Commission on Children and Families Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, and state efforts to prevent and intervene with gang violence across Oregon.
Ms. Bell's professional experience includes serving on the Department of Human Services' Child Welfare Advisory Committee, the Department of Housing and Community Services Hunger Relief Taskforce, the Office of Family Health Home Visiting Steering Committee, and the Statewide Children's Wraparound Initiative Steering Committee. Previous positions include working as the Chief Operating Officer and the Deputy Director of the Department of Community of Family Services for Multnomah County. She has managed as many as 5,000 employees and has worked with stakeholders at the local, regional, state, and federal levels.
Ms. Bell's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Master's Degree in Government with an emphasis on Public Policy Studies from the School of Politics and Economics, at Claremont Graduate University. She has received additional training from the Harvard Graduate School of Education Interdisciplinary Professional Development Collaborative, Brandeis University Center for Urban Studies, U.S. Congressional Training in Legislative Affairs, Executive Leadership training from the Federal Executive Board, and Human Resources Training from the Society of Human Resource Management.
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324