Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Susheela has been a proud resident of District 2 for over 25 years. She was born in India, and came to the United States when she was 16, to go to college.

She attended Swarthmore College, graduating with a degree in Economics. After two years as a financial analyst at an investment bank, Susheela went to law school, earning her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She was a litigator at law firms in San Francisco and Portland, with a general practice that included representing the government in taking on corrupt and negligent bank officers during the fiscal crisis of the 1980s, and providing free legal services to people seeking political asylum in the United States.

Susheela then became the General Counsel at adidas America, serving as the member of the senior executive team responsible for the legal affairs and human resources functions of what was then a $1 billion company. Among her responsibilities was creating the adidas brand’s first set of labor standards to be applied to contracted factories overseas.

As important as that work was and still is, the pull to have a more direct impact on the lives of people in her community was stronger. That’s why Susheela left her legal career nearly 20 years ago, working in nonprofit leadership positions with community organizations. Among other things, she has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette, Portland Schools Foundation, All Hands Raised, Literary Arts, Metropolitan Family Service, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. She has also been a grant evaluator for the Oregon Community Foundation, managed the Nike Community Impact Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, and served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care.

Susheela lives in the Sabin neighborhood of Northeast Portland. She has two children who graduated from Grant High School. Susheela enjoys spending time hiking in the Columbia Gorge, reading, gardening, and playing tennis; and regularly travels back to India to visit her parents.

Sara Ryan

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Chief of Staff

Sara serves as Commissioner Jayapal’s Chief of Staff. She has more than 20 years of experience working at nonprofit organizations in both direct service and systems change. Sara serves on the Board of Directors for Family Forward Oregon, NOPO Soccer League, and on the Site Council for Chief Joseph Elementary School. She has a BA in Sociology & Theology and a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University. Sara grew up in eastern Washington and has lived in North Portland since 2004. She enjoys hanging out in her vibrant neighborhood, playing with her kids, and urban walks with friends.

Angela Donley

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Policy Director

Angela Donley is a third-generation Oregonian from Bend. She’s a proud mother of her son, Simon, and daughter, Elizabeth, with her high school sweetheart, Brian. Angela graduated from the Family and Human Service Program at the University of Oregon with her Bachelors in Education and a minor in Drug and Alcohol Treatment. Angela spent over eight years working directly with low-income families, adjudicated teens, and foster youth before she received her Masters in Social Work from Portland State University, with a focus on Administration and Leadership and an interest in policy change.

After graduation, Angela decided to leave direct service and focus on systems change within Oregon’s government. She started work in the Governor’s office in 2014, working directly with constituents and then moving to be the Policy Assistant for the Public Safety, Housing & Human Services Policy Advisors. After working in the Governor’s office, Angela became the Chief of Staff to Senator Sara Gelser. In this role, she worked on state legislation that directly impacted foster youth and people with disabilities before becoming Policy Director to Commissioner Jayapal. 

As policy director for Commissioner Jayapal, Angela’s portfolio includes community safety and violence prevention, housing and homelessness, and environmental justice. When not working for Commissioner Jayapal, Angela works as an adjunct professor in the Portland State University School of Social work, teaching field seminar & field placement, and Social Welfare History and Policy.

Monique Smiley

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office and Engagement Specialist

A rural Oregonian from a small town by the Columbia River, Monique also has strong ties to North and Northeast Portland. She has a strong background in housing issues, having served as the Homeownership Program Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East where she provided pre-purchase support to Preference Policy homebuyers and led the Homeownership Team’s outreach plan. She also worked for the Welcome Home Coalition, a metro-wide coalition that advocates for adequate funding for affordable housing and supported the Metro Affordable Housing Bond. Monique advocated for adequate education funding, revenue, housing, and immigrant rights as Legislative Assistant for an East Portland State Representative. With equity as a central tenant in her work, she focuses on community engagement strategies for policies and programs to reflect the community’s needs. Monique earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Portland State University. She loves spending time with her family and their dog, tending to houseplants, playing video games, and talking about astrology.