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Prevention and Public Health Promotion Unit Director


Charlene brings over 17 years of leadership working at the intersection of public health and healthcare systems to confront and change social determinants of health. She holds a Bachelors of Science in public health, health promotion and education, with a minor in community health from Oregon State University. She also holds an executive master’s in public administration from Portland State University. The former REACH Program Manager, Charlene is now the Director of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion division.

As a Liberian-Oregonian, her experience as a survivor of the Liberian civil war and Black immigrant heavily influenced her career in health equity, health policy and program development. She works closely with community partners to elevate lived experience and community wisdom in order to advocate for systems and policy improvements, and culturally appropriate interventions to promote health.

Charlene most recently worked as the Health Department’s policy analyst for refugee and immigrant health, and a legislative coordinator during the 2017 session.

Charlene enjoys spending time with her family, celebrating culture, and building community with her husband, Boakai and 11-year-old son Arinze. She also enjoys traveling, the outdoors and cheering on her beloved Portland Trailblazers and Oregon State Beavers.