Phil Keisling – Director, Center for Public Service

Phil is the Director, Center for Public Service at Portland State University.


Three essential skills for success in this field of media/journalism are,

1) Curiosity
2) Ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks
3) Knowledge of the public service sector, including government entities at the local, state, federal, and tribal levels, and non -profit organizations.


In his own words:

Over the last 35 years, I’ve enjoyed four separate, but all very rewarding, careers.

From 1978 to1985, I was an investigative journalist for Willamette Week (Portland Oregon) and then an editor of the Washington Monthly magazine in Washington D.C. During these 7 years I covered local, state, and national politics and wrote articles whose diverse topics included entitlement programs, education reform, health policy and elections.

From 1985 to 1999, I served in appointed and elective political office. After 3 years as a staff assistant to then Oregon House Speaker Vera Katz, I became an elected State Representative from a district in SE and SW Portland. In 1991, I was appointed Oregon Secretary of State by Governor Barbara Roberts; elected to a 4 year term in 1992; and then re-elected in 1996. I was most proud of my work to produce a fair legislative re-districting plan; enact statewide Vote By Mail legislation; and greatly expand performance auditing of government programs.

After leaving office in 1999, I joined an Oregon-based software services company (that survived, but went by three different names during my tenure there from 2000-2009: ProDX; Hepeiric, and CorSource Technology. I served as an Executive Vice President for the company in several different roles, including Business Development, Sales and Marketing, and as a general manager of the Staff Augmentation division.

From 2010 to present, I have been back in the public service sector, as Director of the Center for Public Service for the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

In his spare time Phil enjoys hiking; cross country skiing; working on ballot initiatives like the Oregon Open Primary (allowing all voters to vote for any candidate, regardless of political affiliation or lack there in).

Connect with Phil onĀ LinkedIn

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