Jeanne P. Atkins
Oregon Secretary of State
Jeanne P. Atkins is Oregon’s 25th Secretary of State.
She was sworn in as Secretary of State on March 11, 2015. Gov. Kate Brown appointed her to fill the vacancy left when Brown became Oregon’s 38th governor.
A veteran state administrator, Congressional staffer and women’s rights advocate, Jeanne is a committed public servant who’s spent her entire career in public service and non-profit organizations.
Secretary Atkins retired in January 2015 from the office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., where she served as State Director since 2009. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for the Oregon House Speakers Jeff Merkley and Dave Hunt. Jeanne’s service to Oregonians also includes serving for five years as manager of the Women’s and Reproductive Health Section of the Department of Human Services’ Office of Family Health. She has also held senior staff positions in the Oregon Senate Majority Office and House Caucus Office. She ran for the Oregon House in 1992 and 1994.
During her nonprofit work, Jeanne focused on policy analysis and public affairs at organizations including the United Way of the Columbia/Willamette and Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, where she did public affairs work, and, later served as Director of Patient Services. Early in her career, Jeanne spent almost seven years in Washington, D.C., working in public policy. Throughout, her advocacy on behalf of women has been an unwavering theme.
Jeanne and her husband, John, moved to Oregon in 1973 from her native state of Washington. She earned her law degree at the University of Oregon and received her bachelor’s from the University of Washington.
At her swearing-in, Secretary Atkins emphasized her commitment to fulfilling the opportunity given her to protect and strengthen some of Oregonians’ deepest values: free and open elections, transparency in government, public access to Oregon history, and accountability by state agencies and offices.
One of Secretary Atkins’ early priorities will be implementing the New Motor Voter bill passed by the 78th Legislative Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Brown. As well, Secretary Atkins intends to ensure progress forward and smooth operation of key functions of the Secretary of State's office, which range from administering elections and conducting audits, to overseeing the State Archives and serving as the first stop for business.