Longtime communications leader Neil Simon has been named Metro’s new communications director, deputy chief operating officer Andrew Scott announced Friday.
Simon, who most recently served as global communications director at Tektronix, will start Sept. 20 and oversee Metro’s award-winning public engagement efforts, as well as the regional government’s media relations and social media efforts.
“Neil brings an absolute wealth of experience, from his work at Tektronix and Kindercare in the private sector, to his international development work in Europe, demonstrating his skills at working with diverse communities in complex environments,” Scott said. “His time as a journalist gives him another important perspective as Metro continues to promote transparency and accountability in its work.”
Simon has had a diverse career. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Simon was a reporter at NBC affiliates in El Paso and Albuquerque and later a network news producer. He later began working on international affairs, spending six years working in the US Congress and for international government organizations advocating for human rights and fair elections across a 57-country region including Europe, Central Asia and North America. Simon has served as an expert for USAID promoting governance for inclusive growth in Vietnam and an adviser on community outreach for the European Union.
In 2014, he returned to his hometown of Portland, working as the communications director for KinderCare parent company Knowledge Universe. Since 2020, he’s been the director of global communications at Beaverton-based Tektronix. He has served in several city-appointed volunteer roles for City of Portland and Beaverton working on citizen oversight of police, civic involvement and sister cities.
“Metro’s work to bring together the diverse communities of greater Portland has never been more important,” Simon said. “I’m excited to get to work with talented people of Metro to help create a livable community for generations to come in the region I’ve always called home.”