Don Ryan/Associated Press
SALEM — Brian Shipley, who’s been in and out of state government for 20 years, will return to Salem as chief of staff to incoming Gov. Kate Brown.
The news was first reported by Willamette Week.
Brown will be sworn in Wednesday after John Kitzhaber’s resignation takes effect.
Shipley, 39, is the top lobbyist for Oregon Health & Science University in Portland as associate vice president for government relations. Shipley has served a couple of stints for Brown in two of her previous positions. He was chief of staff when Brown was the Senate Democratic leader about a decade ago, and chief of staff for several months after Brown was re-elected secretary of state in 2012.
He also has worked for two previous governors. After he left Brown the first time, he rose to become a deputy chief of staff to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, overseeing energy and climate change policies and state spending of federal stimulus funds.
He also was legislative director for Kitzhaber — a job he also had under Kulongoski — but left at the end of the 2011 session, Kitzhaber’s first during the third term.
“This job is going to be a lot more challenging,” Kulongoski said.
Once called executive assistant — the title was changed in the late 1980s — the chief of staff oversees the governor’s staff and carries out what the chief executive wants done.
Shipley has had a long acquaintance with Salem. While still a student at Willamette University in the 1990s, Shipley worked for then Reps. Judy Uherbelau of Ashland and Kitty Piercy of Eugene.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in politics and environmental science from Willamette in 1996. He earned his law degree at Georgetown University, and could have gone to a top law firm. But he returned to Oregon to work as a legislative assistant for a state senator.
“I made a conscious decision to get back into public service in that building,” he said of the Capitol, in a Willamette University article in 2009.
He also worked for Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.
In 2011 and 2012, after his stint with Kitzhaber and before he worked with Brown during her tenure as secretary of state, Shipley was with Forest Capital Partners, an investment firm in Portland.