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Kitzhaber picks new economic development officials

Governor Kitzhaber appointed two people to key economic development positions Tuesday.

Sean Robbins was named as the new director of Business Oregon, the state's economic development department. And Kitzhaber also named Vince Porter as his senior policy advisor on jobs and the economy.

"Oregon’s economy is moving in the right direction. We need to maintain our focus to ensure our economic recovery reaches every corner of the state," said Kitzhaber. "Sean and Vince both have proven track records and hands-on experience in economic development. Both are ready to get to work, leveraging Oregon’s natural assets and homegrown talent to generate new opportunities for communities large and small."

Robbins currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Portland Inc, a public-private partnership that has helped attract more than 1,000 new jobs to the region. Under Robbins' leadership, it has also teamed with the Brookings Institution to launch an initiative aimed at doubling the export economy, and broadened collaboration between private and public sector leaders.

Robbins holds a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

If confirmed by the Senate, Robbins will begin his new job on June 1, following Tim McCabe’s retirement after six years leading Business Oregon. McCabe's career includes working in the Governor's Office and at PacifiCorp.

Porter is currently Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Film and TV, where he has served since 2008. In that role, he has helped strengthen Oregon’s film and television industries, recruiting record amounts of production spending in the state over a two-year cycle.

Prior to joining the state, Porter was Vice President of production at Showtime Networks from 1996 to 2008. He received his Bachelor of Science from Ball State University, where he majored in telecommunication. He begins his new position on April 7.