Governor Kate Brown announced that she has named Chris Harder as Business Oregon’s next director.

“I’m excited to bring Chris on board to help continue Oregon’s economic momentum,” Governor Brown said. “Chris’ leadership experience will ensure the state’s economic development strategy represents and serves a diverse array of business interests, urban and rural.”

Harder, an Oregon native, has served as economic development director at the Portland Development Commission, the City of Portland’s economic development agency. He managed the Business & Industry Division and led Portland’s efforts to support entrepreneurship, innovation and trade. Previously, Harder was the Director of Economic Analysis for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and a Senior Budget Analyst in the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.

Harder has master’s degrees in City and Regional Planning and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Harder earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound.

Harder will begin on March 22. He will serve as acting director until his confirmation hearing in the Senate planned for May.