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Dr. Barbara Ramírez Spencer

Barbara Ramírez Spencer


Oregon Commission for Women

AAUW Portland


Dr. Spencer is the chair of the Oregon Commission for Women. She has consulted on executive leadership and organizational strategy for government and nonprofit organizations. She has a bachelors in history from Hunter College and MA and EdD in organizational development from Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Women and Power program at Harvard University's Kennedy School.

Her professional experience includes responsibility for leadership development in the New York insurance and banking industries and service as a professor of organizational development at Columbia University. After a career change, she worked in public transportation for over 20 years, serving for 11 years as executive vice president, the second person in charge of the mass transit system in New York City.

In 2009, she left her transportation career and moved with her husband to Portland, Oregon for a lifestyle and professional change. Presently she is actively involved in local women and transportation leadership issues. She is an advisory board member of the Portland State University's Center for Women's Leadership. She is the Chair on the Oregon Commission for Women, serves as co-president for the Portland American Association of University Women branch, where she heads up committees on STEM and college and university relations, and is a member of the Women's Transportation Seminar, providing mentoring and curriculum assistance. Within transportation arena, she is board secretary for the Portland Streetcar Inc., a member of the TriMet budget task force, and a citizen representative on Oregon Department of Transportaion's 2016-18 statewide transportation improvement plan.