Policy Committee

The RDPO Policy Committee ensures accountability for effective coordination on disaster preparedness throughout the five-county region. Membership consists of publicly elected officials from the region. Of the 17 voting members, five are chosen from county elected leaders, one from Metro, and the remainder comes from cities in the region (two cities per county, plus the City of Portland).


January 2019 @ Port of Portland

January 2019 @ Port of Portland


The Policy Committee meets quarterly at rotating venues. [View Calendar]

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Karylinn Echols

Committee Chair 

Councilor, City of Gresham

Karylinn Echols is serving her fourth term as a Gresham City Councilor. She has served two years as the Council President and is in her third year as the Vice Chair of the Gresham Redevelopment Commission.

Karylinn’s professional background includes work in the public, private, K-12 and community college, and non-profit sectors. Most recently she served as the executive director of the Healthcare Hospitality Network, Inc., a nationwide professional trade association.

Karylinn previously spent fourteen years working with and on behalf of victims of violence and mass disaster. She managed the first national crisis response team out of Washington, DC, helping communities, responders, care providers, victims, and witnesses in the aftermath of mass violence, man-made catastrophes, and natural disasters.

In her role as a community crisis response manager she has trained thousands of emergency responders, therapists, counselors, school staff, faith leaders, employers, and public officials on the emotional impact and aftermath following disaster. She has consulted with several communities in establishing their own crisis response teams prior to facing disaster.

She has led crisis debriefings across the country for groups of victims, witnesses, and responders. As a team manager Karylinn has led teams in the response to plane and train crashes, mass murders, police officers slaying, assassination of elected officials, and workplace violence. Karylinn also served on the national team that responded to the Thurston High School mass murders in Springfield, Oregon.   

Karylinn holds a master’s degree in organizational management and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Karylinn and her husband of thirty years are proud parents and new grandparents.

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Jim Bernard

Committee Vice Chair

Chair, Clackamas County

Jim Bernard was elected Clackamas County Commission Chair in November 2016. He has served on the county commission since 2009. He previously served as Mayor of Milwaukie for eight years and owned a Milwaukie business, which was founded in 1925.

Jim sits on a number of County, regional, and statewide committees, including:

Clackamas County

  • Audit Committee Chair

  • Clackamas County Coordinator Committee (C4) Co-Chair, Executive Committee

  • C4 Metro Subcommittee alternate

  • Coordinated Care Organization

  • Hospital Facilities Authority

  • Internal Audit Committee

  • POA Benefits Review Committee

  • North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District liaison

  • Safe Communities/Drive to Zero Advisory Group

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC)

  • Court Facilities Task Force


  • Metro Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) alternate

  • Metro Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC) alternate

  • Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization Policy Committee Vice Chair


  • Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee


  • Greater Portland Inc. Board of Directors

  • North Willamette Research & Extension Center (NWREC) Advisory Council

  • Regional Wastewater Treatment Capacity Advisory Committee

Commissioner Bernard is committed to preparing our communities for disasters. His full bio can be found here: www.clackamas.us/bcc/bernard