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Press Release: February 22, 2011

Governor announces first step in reform of state government, hires Metro Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan to lead state agencies

Governor creates new position, hires veteran executive to review outdated systems, streamline departments, and create efficiencies and cost-savings

Governor John Kitzhaber announced today the creation of a new position to review outdated systems, streamline departments and create efficiencies and cost savings in state government.   The current head at Metro, Michael J. Jordan, will assume the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and report directly to the Governor.  Mr. Jordan will be responsible for leadership and oversight of the day-to-day operations of the state, and he will direct the Department of Administrative Services. 

“For far too long the outdated systems of accountability and operation of state government have hindered the provision of public services to the citizens of Oregon,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Siloed bureaucratic structures have inhibited the application of consistent business and management practices and continue to prevent the talented and committed state employees from performing up to their potential.  Mike Jordan is the most qualified person in the state to lead meaningful reforms that will better serve the state and taxpayers.  He did that at Metro and we look forward to his stewardship at the state level.”

Mr. Jordan, as Chief Operating Officer (COO), becomes the point person on the Governor’s budget and by the next biennium will develop a new performance-based budget to be coordinated with a 10-year sustainable budget framework.  He will recruit agency directors and senior managers with the intent to motivate and energize all levels of state government to achieve transformative, long-term change and develop an agile organization that is able to meet current and future challenges. These efforts will begin with the current set of agency leadership announcements.

“Our job will be to create new systems and reform old ones so that the talented and committed people who work in state and local governments can deliver better services at lower costs. I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Mr. Jordan said.

Jordan is expected to develop a team and processes to engage middle management and front line workers to lower transaction costs of all state agencies but will prioritize the Department of Administrative Services, Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections and the Oregon Youth Authority. The new COO will be responsible for ensuring that state agencies are aligned to support the education and health care transformation efforts and work closely with the Governor on collective bargaining.

Over the long term Jordan will be responsible for undertaking and implementing an assessment for all of state government. Additionally, because much of the delivery system for state services lies with local governments and non-government organizations, the COO shall convene stakeholders and include the organization and effectiveness of those entities in the assessment.

“We have an opportunity today to set Oregon on a course to a bright future by considering new approaches and abandoning outdated, irrelevant systems that have not served the state and its budget constraints,” said Governor Kitzhaber.  “Mike is my choice to roll up his sleeves, look under the hood of bureaucracy and create meaningful, long-term solutions and change that will right our course.  He has my complete trust and support – we welcome his wisdom.”

Mr. Jordan will start work as Chief Operating Officer on March 28.  His appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. 

Media Contacts:
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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