Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

About Us


  Next OCFW Meeting: July 19, 2024 12 PM to 3 PM

The public is invited to attend. To register CLICK THIS LINK

Our Vision:

We serve the people of Oregon to empower and support women through our special roles as policy advisors to Oregon state policy makers and leaders. The OCFW is a catalyst that empowers partnerships between state government and women in rural and urban areas to ensure success for all women by addressing issues at the policy level.

Our Mission:

The mission of the Oregon Commission for Women is to work for the implementation and establishment of economic, social, legal and political equality for women and to maintain a continuing assessment of the issue and needs confronting women and girls in Oregon.

Our Principles and Values:

  • Equity for women and girls in the economy, education, health, safety, family stability, environment and civic engagement.
  • Equal treatment and protection against discrimination.
  • Access to helpful information on services and available resources.
  • Working in partnership on research and policy analysis of longstanding issues and barriers to success for women and girls statewide.
  • Inclusion of women's viewpoints in policymaking at the state level.
  • Celebration of and education about the contributions and achievements of Oregon women.

Our Bylaws - CLICK HERE


Our Statutory Goals and Strategic Priorities:

  • Advocate for women's issues at the state policy level.
  • Engage community and state partners to promote equity for women and girls across Oregon.
  • Study and analyze issues affecting women and recommend policy remedies to state policymakers.
  • Grow and develop leaders among women at the state level in all branches.
  • Increase the viability and visibility of women's contributions and achievements in Oregon.


View our Biennium Report: CLICK HERE for 2021-23 Biennium Report

Meet the Commissioners

Cottage Grove
Dr. Krista Parent has been an educator in Oregon for the past 36 years. She began as a teacher, principal, curriculum director and assistant superintendent before becoming South Lane School District’s superintendent in 2001 where she stayed for 18 years – all in the same district! Krista was named the National Superintendent of the Year in 2007 by AASA, and one of four distinguished National Superintendents in 2014 by NASS. Beginning in July 2018, Krista became the Director of Executive Leadership for the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). Parent leads the development of COSA’s new Executive Leaders for Oregon initiative. This executive leadership program was launched in the 2018-19 school year, and is designed to support the development of aspiring, early career, and veteran superintendents throughout the state of Oregon.

Krista earned three degrees, all from the University of Oregon, where she began her undergraduate program as an aspiring teacher while starting all four years on the Oregon Duck Softball team. Krista has been a keynote speaker and author on a variety of topics related to leadership. Krista is the mother of two young-adult children who are both products of Oregon public schools. In Krista’s spare time she is an avid fitness buff and reads all things Educational Leadership, Equity and Anti-Racism, and advocates for girls and women in every setting possible.

Grand Ronde

Camille Mercier is currently the Human Resources Director for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde. She has over 25 years’ experience in the Human Resources field working in Oregon, Iowa and Washington.  Camille is passionate about finding opportunities to support women and minorities to become self-sufficient through job training, education and employment opportunities.

Camille is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and is proud of her culture and ancestry.  Her grandmother Margaret Provost, along with two others, led efforts that eventually regained federal recognition to the Grand Ronde tribe.
Camille earned a MBA degree from Willamette University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox University.  Her interests include art projects in a variety of mediums, traveling, spending time with her spouse and her adult son that was recently sworn in as a police officer.

Angela Rico is currently assigned as the Violence Against Women Act Deputy District Attorney in the Office of the Multnomah County District Attorney.  In her current role, Angela works towards helping survivors from the most underrepresented backgrounds navigate the criminal justice system, and helps connect them with support and resources to end the cycle of domestic violence.  Angela has been able to work towards increasing visibility of the diverse population in Multnomah County within the office, and highlight the unique issues that affect specific populations.  Her approach towards her work has always been community based with an eye towards collaborative and holistic prosecution.  Angela brings to her work her unique background as an immigrant from Colombia, a queer identifying Latina, and someone who cares deeply about bringing cultural awareness into every part of the work she does.  As someone who is both bicultural and bilingual, she tries to aid other prosecutors in her office to understand the background of the people we work with. 
Angela is a proud graduate from Portland State University having received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a minor in Criminal Justice.  Angela is also a proud duck, having graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law.  As a child, Angela grew up in Beaverton, Oregon.  She went to Conestoga Middle School and Southridge Highschool.  Prior to working at the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, Angela worked with Governor John. A. Kitzhaber on education policy, and for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission supporting the commissioners and the executive director in reshaping the higher education landscape in Oregon.  During law school Angela had the opportunity to work directly with Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Honorable Erious Johnson on civil rights litigation.  Angela also had the distinct honor of working with the Honorable John V. Acosta in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon as a judicial extern.  
Angela enjoys hiking, the unique gastronomy of Oregon, and being the proud mama of her yorkie, Gizmo.  


Natasha Haunsperger has been a Portland Police Officer for fourteen years and is currently assigned to the Office of Community Engagement, Chief's office. In her current position, Officer Haunsperger has been working on addressing complex criminal justice-related issues with immigrant and refugee communities in the Portland Metro area.  Ms. Haunsperger created a unique police program that focuses on connecting police officers with newly arrived refugees and immigrants as a part of building trust, promoting cultural awareness, and welcoming and assisting new community members in their process of adaptation. 

In her previous assignment at the Criminal Intelligence Unit, Ms.Haunsperger focused on both intelligence and criminal investigations involving foreign-born labor trafficking subjects in the state of Oregon. Officer Haunsperger also co-produced a documentary film on foreign-born labor trafficking, "Reclaiming Their Lives," and is actively working on raising public awareness about trafficking trends in the Pacific NW. Officer Haunsperger is committed to developing a training curriculum for first responders and community-based stakeholders, focusing on early detection and identification of possible labor trafficking activities and victims identification and rescue. 

Ms. Haunsperger received her B.A. in Russian Language from Portland State University in 2004. In 2015, Ms. Haunsperger was a recipient of the Rotary International Peace Studies scholarship and completed a three-month course in "Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies" at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2020, Ms. Haunsperger received a Master's Degree at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS). 
As a former war refugee and an immigrant from Croatia, Ms.  Haunsperger is very involved with the immigrant and refugee communities in Portland and committed to promoting social and community justice. Her interests entail gardening, baking,  and exploring the PCNW. She resides in Portland.


Irene Konev has over 20 years of experience in community organizing, outreach, public relations, working with non-profits and local governments. A caring and compassionate organizer, Irene does her work through an equity lens, providing linguistically and culturally relevant service focused on the systematically marginalized community. Irene has a particular focus on stakeholder engagement and community relationship building, gathering the voices that are systematically excluded. Having lived and worked in northern Canada, Oregon and Washington, she embraces the responsibility of tailoring a best practice or process to the specific needs of an organization. Irene is skilled in building and maintaining relationships with diverse community including DREAMers, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ aging, older adults, economically disadvantaged, Native Americans, members of Oregon's nine federally recognized tribes, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Black, African Americans, Latinx, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islanders, Ukrainian/Eastern European immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented farm workers, migrant workers and living in rural parts of the states. Clients appreciate her over 13 years of experience in community and police relations work centered in the Portland Metro area.

Irene identifies as American – Slavic/Eastern European, community member with ancestry from both Ukraine and Russia. She runs her own business, Konev Consulting LLC, working closely with the Eastern European Community of Oregon and Washington. 


May Saechao is a life long native of the Pacific Northwest, oldest of seven siblings, and born and raised in Oregon from refugee parents. May’s Iu Mien ethnic background originated from China. As a refugee of the Laotian Civil War, May’s family was a part of the largest refugee resettlements in United States history. May’s passion for advocacy stems from life experiences which helped shape her overall perspectives, compassion, and empathy for others. Her work is deeply rooted in the resiliency and perseverance of the Iu Mien people through its history of hardship and oppression. 

May grew up in a working-class family whose parents experienced the many challenges that all working class families encounter. However, she realized that people that are disadvantaged had to work harder to access resources from our public and private institutions. The system barriers that families continue to experience motivates her work as an advocate for families who experience poverty and lack the necessary resources and tools to succeed.

Today, you can find May in spaces that allow her to simultaneously work on systems and institutional barriers while advocating for the underrepresented, and giving a voice to these communities. May continues to raise awareness and educate other communities about the rich culture of the Iu Mien, and speak for marginalized folks who continue to be left out of conversations. May believes in the value of relationships and building but earning the trust of the people, which is where you will see May devoting much of her time in community events interacting with constituents. 

May earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Criminology with a minor in Psychology at Portland State University. She has extensive experience working as a public servant for the State of Oregon, where she currently works as an Advocate for Department of Justice – Civil Rights Unit, helping those needing assistance surrounding hate crimes, bias incidents, or victims of sanctuary promise violations. May has spent the last 15+ yrs working in public safety in a variety of roles. Much of her decision to enter this field had much to do with her experience as a woman and challenging herself to go outside of the norm, breaking the cultural expectations in her family and community. 

Outside of community advocacy and her professional life, Ms. Saechao’s leisure time includes spending it with her husband, children, dog, close friends, and extended family. As oldest of seven siblings, May feels blessed to have a large family and even larger extended family and very much enjoys family gatherings. Her hobbies include culinary everything (cooking and eating), traveling, indulging in documentaries, Chinese historical series, and true crime shows​​

Portand, OR
Alicia Chapman is the owner and CEO of Willamette Technical Fabricators, a structural metal manufacturing company focused on custom, complex transportation and clean energy projects. Prior to founding the business in 2020, she led the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center's research and development for Boeing and other industry partners. Previously she worked at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions as a National Science Foundation-funded Research Fellow focused on monetary and non-monetary valuation of ecosystem services. Prior to that she led supply chain and economic development programs for the US Agency for International Development in post-conflict areas including Palestine, Afghanistan, and Libya. She studied economics at the American and George Washington Universities in Washington, DC, before moving to Portland in 2012 to pursue a PhD in public policy at Portland State, and in 2022 she completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education Program. Alicia serves on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Portland Branch, the Board of Trustees for the National Small Business Association, the Board of Directors for Business for a Better Portland, the Board of the Oregon Business Academy, the Manufacturing Council of Oregon, and the WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) International ED&I Committee. Both her mother and father, who immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic, served in the US Navy, and Alicia is the first person in her family to go to college or own a business. Outside of work she is an avid alpine climber, scuba diver, and amateur wildlife photographer. She lives in beautiful Portland, OR with her husband, son, and faithful shiba inu.


​Ashley Lancaster began working at the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) in 2016 and currently serves as the Policy Director, a role she has held since 2020. As the Policy Director, Ashley prioritizes increasing transparency about and access to PPB’s policy development process. She strives to advance inclusive policies that provide clear guidance, promote accountability, and meet the needs of the communities PPB serves.

She has dedicated her career to public service, primarily working in various social policy areas and operational governance. The common thread in her career has been her commitment to working in collaboration with community members and others who are directly impacted by her work to improve the public good.

Ashley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgetown University, where she also was a four-year letterwinner in volleyball (Hoya Saxa!). She then earned a Master’s degree in public policy from American University. When she’s not cheering on her Hoyas, Ashley enjoys tackling home projects with her partner, teaching their old dog new tricks, and connecting with friends and family.

As a former athlete and business owner, Libra champions elite personal behavior.  She uses her education and elite athletic experiences to cultivate thought partnerships that is actionable, manageable, and sustainable.  In addition, over 25 years corporate, racial/social justice and orator experiences enable her to relate to diverse communities, professional groups, and individuals. Libra is currently the Executive Director for Women’s Foundation of Oregon, a philanthropist non-profit organization that focuses on the dismantlement of systems that impede gender justice. Libra served as the interim Executive Director of Western States Center (WSC) and was the Chief Operating Officer for one of the largest culturally specific non-profits in Oregon. She is an elected member of the North Clackamas School board for which she chaired board during the pandemic. Libra also has over 20 years of education advocacy experience in Hawaii and Oregon.  She has led innovative education reform and structure developments to include the first active-duty military child scholarship program for transitions.  In addition, Libra’s volunteer work includes State of Oregon Education Recovery Committee, a member of the Oregon Community Foundation Leadership Council, and Executive Board member for the Maurice Lucas Foundation.  Libra holds awards in racial/social justice and international speech.  She is the proud mother of a recent college math major graduate, a current college biology student, and soon to be high school student-athlete.  Libra calls her children her superpowers because they are the impetus to her drive and success.  She is a fighter with a justice heart and systems mind ready to get the work done so we can have a place we can all be proud of beyond our existence.

Portland, OR

State Representative Dacia Grayber is in her second term in the Oregon State Legislature, where she is proud to represent SW Portland and East Beaverton. In the House of Representatives, Dacia holds the position of Assistant Majority Leader of the Democratic Caucus, is Chair of the Veterans, Emergency Management, and General Government Committee, and serves on Business and Labor, and the Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee. Rep. Grayber works to develop and move polices that bolster families and communities in ways that break down barriers for all Oregonians and expand opportunities for success.

When not in session, Rep Grayber continues her 23-year career in service as a full-time firefighter and nationally registered paramedic with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. She holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Concordia University in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and has won national recognition from the National Homeland Security Institute for her work in emergency management exercise design, as well as regional awards for her public health work in establishing a free triage clinic for unhoused neighbors. Her proudest achievement is raising four now grown children with her husband, Matt. In her free time Dacia loves any and all outdoor adventure in Oregon’s wild places. ​


Rev. Dr. Deborah L. Patterson is an ordained clergywoman in the United Church of Christ, currently serving a 130-year old rural Congregational church in the Mid-Willamette Valley.  She represents District 10, which includes South and West Salem, Monmouth, Independence, Turner and Aumsville, and parts of Four Corners and unincorporated East Salem. 

Prior to her return to active ministry, she was Executive Director of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, which equipped RNs to provide health care advocacy and education around the world.  Deb also has served as the Executive Director of Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries, based in Portland, and was vice president of a children's health philanthropy. She has also served on the senior management team of a multi-hospital health system in the Midwest.  Deb has served on a wide variety of governing boards for health and human service organizations, including hospitals, transitional housing, residential care, and community-based services. She is currently Chair of the Marion Council Health Advisory Board and was recently appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Oregon Disabilities Commission.

Deb holds Bachelor's and Master's degree in Music, a Master of Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and master's and doctorate degrees from Eden Theological Seminary.  She is a strong advocate for healthcare for all, for access to quality education for all ages, and for social justice, including climate justice.   During her first term in office, she will be working to make healthcare, housing, and childcare more affordable, and will work to expand employment options, from expanding apprenticeship opportunities, to helping small businesses recover from the pandemic's challenges, to growing clean energy jobs that pay living wages.  ​​

Deb is the Mom of two young adults, one of whom has special needs, and is married to Dr. Stephen Patterson, who holds the George H. Atkinson Chair of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University.​

Public Records Requests (PRR)

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) responds to requests for public records in the general way described in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services' (DAS) Public Records Requests policy (pdf).

The DAS Public Records Requests Fees and Charges policy outlines the fees the department charges for records, and the process the agency uses to fulfill requests.

Please choose one of the following methods to request public records from OACO:
1. Email your request to Terrence Saunders, Interim Executive Director with "PRR" included in the subject line:


2. Mail a written request to this address:

Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office
PO Box 17550
Portland, OR 97217

Follow us