About Business Oregon
Business Oregon is the state's economic development agency.
The Business Oregon Commission oversees the agency's activities to ensure a coherent, integrated approach to economic development and a continuous policy direction that can transcend changes in executive and legislative leadership.
Business Oregon works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs.
A globally-competitive economy based on innovation, sustainable production and world-class talent that creates family-wage jobs and preserves and enhances the quality of life for Oregonians.
Chris Harder, Director
Chris Harder is Director of Business Oregon, appointed by Governor Kate Brown in March of 2016. Chris leads the agency in its work to help businesses grow in Oregon and see that economic opportunity is reaching each corner of the state. An Oregon native, Chris most recently served as economic development director at the Portland Development Commission, the city of Portland's economic development agency. He managed the Business & Industry Division and led Portland's efforts to support entrepreneurship, innovation and trade. Previously, Chris was the Director of Economic Analysis for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and a Senior Budget Analyst in the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.
Chris has master's degrees in City and Regional Planning and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound.
Chris lives in NE Portland with his wife, Melinda and two young children.
Activities and Affiliates
Business Oregon also houses the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. The Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust administer both federal and state investments in arts and culture. Additionally, Business Oregon acts as a fiscal agent for the Oregon Film and Video Office (OFVO). OFVO promotes statewide development of the film, video and multimedia industry in Oregon to enhance the industry's revenues, profile and reputation.
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