About Jeff Cogen
Jeff Cogen was elected in 2006 to his first term as a Multnomah County commissioner, and was elected to a four-year term as chair in May 2010.
Originally from Florida, Jeff earned his law degree and worked as an attorney in the Bay Area before moving to Portland in 1992 with his wife, Lisa. The pair fell in love with Portland’s natural beauty and its ethos of compassion, sustainability and social justice. They opened Portland’s first organic bakery and started their family in Portland.
Inspired by his passion for community involvement, Jeff entered politics by joining then-county Chair Beverly Stein’s staff in 1999. There, he developed educational and environmental policy before being named chief of staff in 2003 to Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. He played key roles in developing the Portland Children’s Levy, and helped position Portland as the international leader of the green building movement.
Since his election to the Board of Commissioners in 2006, Jeff has made it his mission to improve the community by reflecting its goals of livability, equity, smart growth and sustainability.
Jeff has amassed a successful list of initiatives that address health, equity and safety for the county’s 735,000 residents. These achievements include creating both the Mental Health Crisis Assessment & Treatment Center and Gateway Domestic Violence Center; securing funding to replace the aging Sellwood Bridge and leading the way to make the county Oregon’s first to restrict the sale of products, such as baby sippy cups, that contain the dangerous chemical Bisphenol A.
He led the creation of a new county microlending program, which provides loans to small-business entrepreneurs, particularly people of color, immigrants and women, who face extra hurdles when trying to secure loans. Jeff also started the Multnomah County CROPS Farm – where surplus county land is used to grow fresh food for the Oregon Food Bank.
Jeff continues to use innovative and collaborative solutions to address local needs and show people the kind of community we can be. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Lisa and their two children.