RDPO Headquarters is based at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. If you would like to contact members of the RDPO committees, work groups, and task forces, visit our Governance page for more info.
Denise A. Barrett
Denise Barrett has served as the Manager of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) since August 2011, when she was hired by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, on behalf of partners from around the region to stand up and manage the new organization. The City of Portland is a signatory to the inter‐governmental agreement that formalized the RDPO in early 2015, and PBEM serves as the lead administrative agency providing personnel, including Denise, and administrative, program and financial management support services to the RDPO structure of committees, discipline work groups and inter‐disciplinary task forces.
As RDPO Manager, Denise functions as chief executive, directing and overseeing the day‐to‐day operations of the RDPO, which includes developing and coordinating the multi‐level governance structure; developing and coordinating the organization's communication/information‐sharing and resource development functions; and designing and facilitating participatory multi‐stakeholder strategic planning and program design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation processes to achieve increased and sustained disaster preparedness capabilities in the region.
Denise has more than 20 years of experience building and transitioning organizations as well as designing and leading multi‐sector humanitarian relief, post‐disaster rehabilitation and community development programs in the U.S., Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. She holds a Master’s degree in International Administration (i.e., Development Management) from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Regional Planning Coordinator
Laura joined the RDPO in 2016 to lead planning for the organization, which includes stakeholders from five counties (Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington). Prior to joining RDPO, Laura worked for more than a decade in international humanitarian relief and development with Mercy Corps. She managed a multi-country resilience program focused on disaster risk reduction and market systems development in Asia. She holds a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Seattle Pacific University, and an MBA Certificate from Portland State University’s Entrepreneurial Leaders program.
Program & Communications Specialist
Laura joined the RDPO in 2017 to provide program and communications support for the RDPO staff, committees, discipline work groups, and project task forces. Prior to joining the RDPO, she was the Language Program Coordinator for Portland Community College's Community Education Department. She has also worked as a Program Manager in the Portland State University Graduate School of Education and the Bellevue College Center for Career Connections. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of Kansas and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Portland State University. She spent several years teaching ESOL at PCC, PSU, IRCO, and various other Portland-area community organizations.
Laura is engaged in a number of community efforts to advance earthquake preparedness. She is a Team Leader for the Arbor Lodge / Kenton Neighborhood Emergency Team and Co-Chair of the group Parents4Preparedness. She manages PortlandPrepares.org and teaches disaster preparedness classes at venues throughout Portland, including the Multnomah County Library.
Beth joined the RDPO in September 2018. She provides coordination and expertise to support project proposal development and grant execution, and she administers RDPO progress and financial reporting functions. She also supports the RDPO Program and Grants & Finance Committees.
Beth has over eighteen years of experience administering federal and state grants, as well as managing complex, high-profile, high-consequence projects. Her background includes 15 years of emergency management experience related to health impacts of natural or human caused disasters. In addition to her operational and management expertise, she has served in incident command roles for diverse emergencies such as responding to H1N1, Hurricane Katrina dislocation, and many severe weather and flooding events. Her design of a statewide multi-function hotline has been adopted as a best practice by ASTHO and CDC. Beth has a BSc in Community Health Education, a Women’s Studies Certificate, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University.
Eric joined the RDPO in October 2018 to provide administrative and information management support. He also works as a FEMA Reservist in the Planning Section. Eric deployed to Hurricane Michael just after joining the RDPO in October. Most recently, he has deployed to assist with the response effort for Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Matthew (2016). In his spare time, Eric provides administrative and program support for the City of Tigard CERT Program. He has an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Management from Clackamas Community College.