Since being appointed and then elected in 2010, he directed efforts to implement money-saving technologies, strengthened access to data, authorized fraud lawsuits against firms that misled investors, earned an upgrade in Oregon’s credit rating, and revamped the Oregon 529 College Savings Network with lower costs and more options for families.
Wheeler also has assumed a leadership role in economic development. He convened business leaders and spearheaded a new statewide blueprint, dubbed the Oregon Investment Act, and it was approved by the Legislature in 2012.
Serving as the Chair of the Multnomah County Commission from 2006 to 2010, Wheeler was a champion of preventive services. Under his leadership, Multnomah County reduced the cost of government while maintaining safety net programs for the elderly, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and forging partnerships to fund a Mental Health Crisis Center. As the county’s chief executive, he oversaw a workforce of more than 4,400 and was responsible for reducing and balancing the budget and also cutting the county’s debt.
Wheeler brings a strong management and financial background to the office of State Treasurer. Before entering elected office, he worked in the financial services industry, and his career included posts at financial institutions including Bank of America and Copper Mountain Trust, where he was a senior manager.
He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia University, and a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Wheeler was born in Portland, and graduated from Lincoln High School. His family has deep Oregon roots. The town of Wheeler, located on Nehalem Bay on the Oregon coast, is named after his great-grandfather.
Wheeler is a longtime community volunteer leader, and has devoted energy to diverse organizations including Neighborhood House, Portland Mountain Rescue, and the Oregon Sports Authority. He is an Eagle Scout.
When he is not working, Wheeler enjoys endurance sports, and successfully summited Mt Everest in 2002. He snow-shoed to the North Pole with his wife and regularly competes in the Ironman Triathlon.
He lives in Southwest Portland with his wife and daughter.