Meet Kate

​​Kate Brown is Oregon’s 24th Secretary of State.​​​​​​​

Kate Brown 
​​​​​​​Elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, Secretary Brown’s objective is to make state ​government ​​​​​
​effective, efficient and accountable to taxpayers. That’s why during her two terms in office, Kate has:
  • Pushed to restore integrity to Oregon’s initiative and referendum system.
  • Removed barriers to voter registration and voting.
  • Expanded online services for businesses.
  • Focused audits on government efficiency and giving state agencies roadmaps to peak performance.

Secretary Brown is an Oregonian through and through. When she’s not busy at the Capitol in Salem, you’ll find her horseback riding, hiking or practicing yoga.

Even before her election as Secretary of State, Kate was active in Oregon politics. 

She was appointed to the state House of Representatives in 1991 and, after winning two more House terms, was elected to the Oregon Senate. In 1998 Kate was chosen Senate Democratic leader. Significantly, in 2004 she became the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader. 

In her legislative career, Kate led efforts to create a searchable online database for campaign contributions and expenditures, and reformed Oregon’s initiative process to reduce fraud and protect the citizen’s right to petition their government. She was also instrumental in passing comprehensive civil rights and domestic partnership laws.

Kate practiced family and juvenile law and taught at Portland State University before beginning her career in public service. She earned her law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in environmental conservation with a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kate grew up in Minnesota. 

Secretary Brown resides in Portland with her spouse, Dan.



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Acc​​omplishments

20​13

The passage of House Bill 3459 cre​ates the Office of Small Business Assistance​ to serve as an everyday source of information and advice for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The goal of the new law is to create an advocate for businesses entangled in regulation, increase the number of small businesses in Oregon and revise rules to avoid problems in the first place. 

A series of audits makes recommendations to improve Oregon’s public education system. The recommended changes to higher education, GED programs and teacher training will help Oregon achieve its ambitious 40-40-20 goal – 40 percent of all students earning a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40 percent earning a two-year associate’s or technical degree and 20 percent earning a high school diploma or equivalent. 

2​012

A public-private partnership with​ the Baker City-based Chaves Consulting Inc. launches  the first statewide electronic records management solution in the country.  The Oregon Records Management System  delivers services to state and local governments at great savings and helps stimulate Eastern Oregon’s economy by allowing Chaves to expand.

Business Xpress​ centralizes all the vital information entrep​reneurs need to start or expan​d a business in Oregon.  The award-winning website helps stimulate Oregon’s economy by making it easier to do business in the state.

2​011

The Ballot Initiative Strategy C​enter awards Oregon the highest grade in the nation for the level of accountability, transparency and integrity in the 24 states where citizens are able to place measures on the ballot.

2010:

Every $1 spent on performance auditing resulted in $32.55 in savings during the first four fiscal years since Kate was elected – an increase of 435% over the prior four years.

20​09

Kate is named one of 24 “Rising Stars” in American poli​tics and awarded the Rodel Fellowship, a two-year program dedicated to breaking down partisan barriers and exploring the responsibilities related to leadership and governance.

Online voter registration laun​ches. By June 2013, over 295,000 Oregonians have registered to vote online.

2009

House Bill 2005 gives the Secretary of State more power to enforce the constitutional ban on paying per signature for initiatives and to crack down on fraud and abuse.​​​​​