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Steering Committee

The Committee comprises 10 to 12 volunteers committed to engaging Portland young professionals with world affairs. Each volunteer is responsible for organizing/assisting with events and for general advancement of the program.

Katen Bush

 Katen Bush

Jon Connelly

Circulation Marketing Executive, Portland Business Journal
 Jon Connelly

Jon Connelly has worked at Portland Business Journal since 2010. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2007 with an International Business degree, and his studies took him to China, Europe and Latin America. There he gained a strong appreciation for international exchange.

Jon and his wife Sally have lived in Portland since 2008. While not working or networking with the Portland community, he enjoys getting outside and trying to get Shuck, his Labrador Retriever, to listen to him.

 

Steven Jonas

Industrial Operations Analyst, Energy Trust of Oregon
 Steven Jonas

Steven Jonas joined the Young Professionals Steering Committee in 2013. In addition to his work at Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit that has helped Oregonians save over $1 billion on their energy bills since 2002, he is an organizer for the Portland chapter of Quantified Self, an international collaboration of users and makers of self-tracking tools. He has given talks on his forays into self-experimentation in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Amsterdam. Steven became interested in international affairs as a result of memorizing country facts as a part of an experiment on optimizing memory retention and recall. Before moving to Portland in 2006, Steven was involved in filmmaking, living in New York City and Los Angeles. He interned in the creative department at the Donners’ Company, makers of the X-Men movies, and was nominated for an Emmy for his work as an editor at Major League Baseball. He holds a BA in English and is from Cottonwood, a small town in northern California.

Jason Little

Staff Assistant — Congressman Earl Blumenauer, U.S. House of Representatives
 Jason Little

Jason Little has been a member of the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Young Professionals Steering Committee since 2011. Previous to joining the Steering Committee he was a Council intern and volunteer. Prior to working for Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Jason worked for the Portland Business Alliance, Portland’s regional chamber of commerce, where he coordinated membership development and engagement strategies. A graduate of Wilson High School, Jason is a native Portlander. He attended Linfield College, obtaining a B.A. in business marketing.

Michael Manca

Solution Quality Analyst, Intel Corporation
 Michael Manca

Michael was born in Portland, raised in Southern Italy around the city of Lecce, and moved back to Oregon in ’97 to complete his higher education studies in International Business and Marketing. He spent most of his professional career at Intel, approximately 7 years, and in recent times he transitioned from being a localization Project Manager to a Solution Quality Analyst, focusing on some of the more technical aspects of the software development process. In his spare time Michael enjoys reading philosophy, sailing and helping the WAC's YP steering committee.

Leana Mayzlina

Digital Action Campaign Manager, World Pulse
 Leana Mayzlina

Leana Mayzlina is the Digital Action Campaign Manager for World Pulse, where she develops international initiatives aimed at delivering grassroots women leaders' testimonies and visions to influential forums.  She is an international development professional, who has recently relocated back to the Pacific Northwest after 7 years working in Latin America for the non-profit, academic, and government sectors.  Leana is experienced in designing and managing international cooperation programs in areas ranging from poverty alleviation and social entrepreneurship to volunteer exchange.  A native of Ukraine, she speaks Russian, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Pitzer College, as well as an MA in International Studies from the University of Chile.  

Bassima Mroue

Sr. Director, Global Categories Strategic Planning, Nike
 Bassima Mroue

Bassima is a Lebanese-American with roots in West Africa and Canada.   She attended Queen's University, received an MBA from Babson College and worked at various companies, including Cargill, Eaton Hydraulics, Biovail Pharmaceuticals and the family business.  In 2005, she moved to Portland to work for Nike Inc., where she held various roles in IT & Operations with 1.5 years based in Belgium. She is currently the Senior Director of Strategic Planning for Nike Global Categories.  Bassima's passion is supporting nonprofit organizations that focus on the intersection of business innovation and social change.  She travels as often as she can to visit her family, is an obsessive reader, and enjoys, jogging, jiu-jitsu, pilates and ping-pong.

Jeff Renfro

Senior Economist, Northwest Economic Research Center
 Jeff Renfro

Jeff Renfro is a Portland native, and Senior Economist at the Northwest Economic Research Center. Jeff received an MS in Economics from Portland State University and an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University in Politics and Philosophy. Upon leaving Santa Clara, he spent a year teaching English in China.  He has also studied in England and worked for an environmental economics institute in South Africa.  Jeff travels as often as he can, and visited six continents before turning 25 (and is currently working on his second lap). In his free time he enjoys running and reading, is a dedicated urban cyclist, and brews beer with his father and brothers.  Jeff runs the YP Discussion Group.

Colin Smith

Sr. Team Lead, Sales Development, GoodData Inc.
 Colin Smith

Colin's international background includes time spent living and working abroad in The Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, Rwanda, Honduras and East Asia.  His professional background includes time covering private equity as a journalist in New York for mergermarket.com, conducting health policy analysis as an intern for U.S. AID in Rwanda, working as a scuba diving professional in Roatan, Honduras, and a stint in management consulting with Poyry. 

Colin received his Master's degree in International Management from Portland State University in 2009 and his B.A in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Oregon in 2004. He currently works in enterprise software as an Account Manager for GoodData and can be followed on Twitter @ColinJamesSmith