Website Multnomah County

About Multnomah County

Every day, Multnomah County works to ensure that our community is a place where anyone can access the help they need, our most vulnerable neighbors are protected, and everyone can find pathways to thrive. So together, our dedicated employees and community partners show up and meet residents where they are to make our neighborhoods safer, our kids healthier, our families more stable, and Multnomah County a more just and equitable home for everyone.

Still, more than a third of Multnomah County families struggle to meet their basic needs. The twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism have revealed the systemic challenges our residents face, including the crisis of homelessness and housing affordability, food instability,  domestic violence, lack of access to health care, and the too frequent poor treatment of people who are older or have a disability. Pervasive racism means these challenges fall disproportionately on Black and other community members of color, who are overrepresented among the clients we serve.

Against that backdrop, Multnomah County is a grounding force that has the people, the power and the values to make a difference for those in the most need. We have a lot of work to do together.

Our scope of work is vast. We are the largest provider of safety net services in Oregon including primary health and dental care, leading the crisis system of care for behavioral health, operating one of the busiest and most beloved library systems in the country, maintaining six bridges central to the Portland Metro area (plus 22 smaller spans), and providing law enforcement for unincorporated areas along with prosecution and detention services for the entire County.

We lead in crises, responding to everything from public health emergencies such as COVID-19 to dangerous wildfire smoke and extreme weather conditions that threaten people’s safety. At the same time, the County is committed to empowering and partnering with communities that have historically been systematically overlooked and underserved to co-create and support solutions that are responsive to their unique needs.

Multnomah County is Oregon’s geographically smallest, but most densely populated county, stretching south of the Columbia River from the National Scenic Area of the Columbia River Gorge to Portland’s West Hills. We are home to eight economically and culturally diverse cities, including Portland.

Multnomah County is also one of the state’s most reliable and powerful economic engines, driving $2.8 billion a year through the region. The County partners with hundreds of agencies and nonprofits to prioritize those most in need and promote a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all.

The Multnomah County Chair is the chief executive, elected at large. She is joined by a Board of County Commissioners, consisting of four nonpartisan members elected from designated districts who serve as a legislative body. The County Sheriff, District Attorney and Auditor round out the slate of elected officials. Over the past six years, the Chair and Board have supported the launch of the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan, increased investment in culturally specific services, and supported the creation of equity strategies to inform budgeting, COVID-19 outreach, testing, vaccination and eviction prevention.

About the Position:

The Chief Human Resources Officer directs (CHRO), develops, and implements modern, innovative human resources policies and practices for all of County government, forming a background against which each department or agency supports a workforce that is efficient, qualified, diverse and productive, and capable of delivering high quality services to the citizens of Multnomah County. Multnomah County operates in a decentralized Human Resources system, where the CHRO and Central HR provide countywide policy direction and support to 10 department Human Resources teams.

As an advisor to the Chair and a member of the leadership team, the CHRO leads a team of 55 people serving more than 6,200 Multnomah County employees through the following functional areas: classification and compensation; labor relations; benefits; wellness; HRIS; and organizational learning. The CHRO oversees a budget of $162 million, including the County’s Risk Fund for benefit plans, and acts as a key leader in the County’s annual budget process, including developing, administering, and monitoring budgets, and developing justifications for budgetary recommendations and/or adjustments. The CHRO also directs the partnership, relationship building, and contract negotiations with the County’s 13 labor unions.

Multnomah County has adopted a comprehensive Workforce Equity Strategic Plan. Implementing this plan is a big part of Multnomah County’s internal work. The stronger and more equitable the organization becomes, the better the County is able to serve its increasingly diverse community. People of color represent a growing share of the area’s population. While communities of color help foster innovation and economic vibrancy, they also experience worse outcomes in every indicator of social well-being. It is vital that Multnomah County advances policies, practices, programs and activities to better serve people of color and to ensure that the County’s workforce is representative of the people it serves. This effort contributes to the County’s overall economy, health and quality life.

The Ideal Candidate
Multnomah County is seeking a courageous, credible, unifying, equity-centered human resources leader who is deeply committed to the success of the County, is a strategic big-picture thinker, and will be able to establish the County to be an employer of choice, responsive to the workforce demands of the future.
The next CHRO will bring a high degree of humility and self-awareness to the role. The CHRO will have the ability to think creatively to solve problems so that HR services are effective and efficient for all employees County-wide. The successful candidate will have the proven ability to lead through ambiguity and be called on to deliver in a complex environment. The CHRO will be a strong and efficient collaborator who understands how to maintain key relationships when it’s not possible to satisfy all parties and has demonstrated strong and productive relationships with labor organizations.
In addition, the ideal candidate will bring the following:
●      Deep commitment to intersectionality-centered equity and an ability to engage with diverse staff and leadership to promote collaboration and partnership across departments and levels of leadership. Unwavering commitment to cultivating a work culture of safety, trust and belonging. Embraces the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan.
●      Broad experience in the disciplines of human resources. This includes experience with labor unions, advising leaders in HR policy and practice, workforce planning, organizational development, benefits, wellness, and employment law and compensation.
●      Commitment to transparency and open communication to keep people informed. The CHRO should be highly visible within the County organization, proactively communicating with other departments. Verbal and written communications are essential to success.
●      Customer focused approach. The CHRO must bring a commitment to customer service and expectations of efficiency and responsiveness. The Central HR Division must serve as a collaborative partner with departments, working seamlessly to support County operations and the achievement of the County’s goals.
●      Proven business savvy, cultural competence, political understanding, and sensitivity with the ability to think ahead, anticipate issues, and proactively develop response plans are essential. The next CHRO will have the opportunity to move the Central HR Division forward and position it to be a strategic asset for the County for years to come.
●      Ability to develop strategies and effectively communicate recommendations to elected officials and internal stakeholders. In this role, nothing is accomplished without input and collaboration from senior leaders, elected officials, equity leaders, employee resource groups, labor representatives, employees, and HR executives.
●      Ability to develop and monitor indicators of organizational culture and engage employees and senior leadership to create organizational change.
●      Innovative strategic thinking and problem solving. Problems you encounter in this role require you to apply advanced management principles in a diverse and complex county government organization.

Desirable Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of increasingly responsible HR leadership experience in an organization similar in size and complexity to Multnomah County. An advanced degree or SHRM certification is a plus.

About the Area
Multnomah County Oregon has a population exceeding 800,000 and covers over 465 square miles. Although the county’s beautiful and progressive city of Portland has the cultural and recreational opportunities of a large city, it has the heart of a small town. In addition to Portland, Multnomah County encompasses cities such as Fairview, Gresham, Maywood Park, Troutdale and Wood Village. Portland is just thirty minutes from the Cascade Mountains, with hiking, world-class ski resorts, camping and fishing. Travel one hour west to find some of the most dramatic and pristine beaches on the west coast. Portland lies in the Marine west coast climate region, marked by warm, dry summers and rainy but mild winters.  Portland is a foodie’s dream, with regional cuisine featuring microbreweries and micro distilleries, local wine, seafood, and produce; along with one of the country’s largest food cart scenes and the quirky Voodoo Donuts, home of the maple-bacon donut. Portland has a vibrant and growing community of Black, Indigenous  and people of color who enrich the cultural connections, celebrations and the food of the region. Classical music, ballet and our art museum live comfortably alongside vibrant contemporary art and jazz music scenes. Portland is a reader’s paradise – our libraries boast the largest circulation in the country and bookstores abound. Sauvie Island, an agricultural and scenic wildlife preserve, has some of the region’s best produce, including Oregon’s famous berries.  Portland has been referred to as one of the most environmentally friendly or “green” cities in the world.

Application Process
Persons interested in this position should submit the following information:
●      A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position
●      A current resume

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. This position will remain open until filled but the screening process will move quickly. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application materials at no later than July 22nd, 2022.

Multnomah County is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to enhancing the diversity of its workforce. We will provide assistance in the recruitment, application and selection process to applicants with disabilities who request such assistance.

If you are a veteran and want to apply for veterans’ preference, please include a statement in your cover letter that you are a veteran AND submit a copy of your DD214 or DD215 or other documentation with your application packet by the closing date. Veterans’ preference cannot be honored for this recruitment without it.

Total Compensation
The annual hiring range for this position is $130K-$209K.  Multnomah County is an excellent employer offering an outstanding benefit package including health, dental, disability and life insurance; defined benefit pension; 6% of salary contribution to retirement paid by the County; work-life balance; annual public transit pass; vacation and sick leave.  For more information about Multnomah County benefits please visit

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