Leadership, Ethics, and Trust

Metro, Oregon: Creating a Collaborative Culture of Curious People Who Are Committed to Public Service

Page from June 2023  GFR

Metro, a regional government agency serving northwestern Oregon, has developed a collaborative structure and culture that helped the organization navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, while continuing to focus on delivering better outcomes through compromise and problem-solving.

Metro serves about 1.7 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. Brian Kennedy, Metro’s chief financial officer, explained that the organization was created in the 1980s through the merger of a council of governments focused on land use and transportation planning and a solid waste service district. Since this merger, the organization has grown to accommodate other operations including the Oregon Convention Center, parks and nature systems across the region, the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Expo Center, and several performing arts centers in the City of Portland.