Governor Appoints New Secretary Of State

Photo: Ford, Brad

Governor Tina Kotek announced that she is appointing LaVonne Griffin-Valade to serve as Oregon’s Secretary of State. Griffin-Valade worked as a government performance auditor for over 16 years, including eight years as an elected auditor. 

“I told Oregonians in May that the primary objective of our next Secretary of State was to restore confidence in the office. LaVonne Griffin-Valade has the professional background and ethical judgment to rise above politics and lead the important work of the agency forward,” Governor Kotek said. “This role demands accountability and transparency, especially at this moment, and I am eager to see her leadership restore faith in the Secretary of State’s office.” 

Griffin-Valade was hired as a Senior Management Auditor at the Multnomah County Auditor’s Office in 1998 and later went on to serve as the elected Multnomah County Auditor. In 2009, LaVonne was elected the Portland City Auditor. By the time she retired in 2014, The Oregonian Editorial Board credited her audits with exposing “mysteries about spending or management that would have otherwise gone unchecked and unknown – even by those in charge of the spending and management.”

“I have the experience to bring back credibility, accountability, transparency, and trust to the Secretary of State’s office,” Griffin-Valade said. “It’s never been more important to have a leader who will focus on rebuilding the public’s trust in the Secretary of State’s office, and that is exactly what I will aim to do every day.”

As the City of Portland Auditor, Griffin-Valade oversaw several divisions that required a high level of independence and ethical judgment from managers and staff, including government performance auditing, elections, archives, ombuds office, and additional accountability functions. Throughout her years working as a staff auditor and then as an elected auditor, she was a member of an international committee shaping the course of local government auditing throughout the U.S. and in several Canadian jurisdictions.  

After leaving office, Griffin-Valade went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Portland State University and has since pursued a successful writing career. 

Griffin-Valade will serve the remaining 18 months of the current term. She will be sworn in on Friday, June 30 in Salem. Details for media wishing to attend will be sent by the Secretary of State’s office tomorrow.  

Former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan resigned, because she was working as a consultant for a marijuana business and her office was responsible for an audit of the marijuana industry.

Source: Oregon Governor's Office

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