Metro Council President Lynn Peterson has named Paul Slyman as her chief of staff.
“I am excited to have Paul leading my team as I begin my term as Metro Council President,” said Peterson, who took office Jan. 7. “As we prepare to tackle the challenges of traffic congestion, livability and affordability in greater Portland, Paul’s experience both inside and outside Metro will serve the region well.”
Slyman has been the director of Metro’s Property and Environmental Services Department since 2010. He previously worked at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Portland Development Commission.
As director of Metro’s Property and Environmental Services Department, Slyman oversaw the region’s garbage and recycling systems, as well as education and information programs about waste reduction in the Portland region.
Notably, Slyman has overseen the decade-long re-evaluation of the garbage and recycling contracts managed by Metro. Metro coordinates the management of the 2.4 million tons of garbage, recycling, compostable materials and hazardous waste generated in greater Portland each year. That re-evaluation was completed in 2018.
“Working with the great team in Metro’s PES department, we’ve done some great work in protecting our environment and finding new, cleaner and more efficient ways to get rid of the stuff people don’t want,” Slyman said. “I look forward to working on more of the challenging issues facing our region today.”
Slyman came to Metro in 2010 from the Portland Development Commission where he served as manager of its Sustainable Services Division from 2007-2010. In that role he led the Project Management Office, the Construction and Environmental Services Team and Green Building Policy and Program Development.
He also served in various positions at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality starting in 1996, where he was the administrator of the agency’s Environmental Cleanup Division, Land Quality Division, the Northwest Region and, from 2002-2007, served as deputy director.
Slyman is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard where he managed marine oil spill prevention programs and conducted patrols in Alaska, the South Pacific and Asia enforcing international maritime laws. While on active reserves in the Coast Guard, he served a one-year special assignment following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as an assistant director of operations. He retired as a commander from the Coast Guard in 2007.
He holds a bachelor's degree in physical oceanography from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a master's degree in physical geography from Portland State University.
Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in the greater Portland area as the regional government that oversees planning, garbage and recycling, 17,000 acres of parks and natural areas, the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland Expo Center, the Oregon Zoo and Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.