Alissa has spent 40 years working to eliminate poverty, promote cross-cultural understanding, invest in youth, protect the environment, and promote civil rights.
After graduating from Stanford, Alissa spent several years doing community development in Indonesian villages. She then earned a Masters in Public Health in Hawaii, worked in Hawaiian nonprofits and the Hawaii legislature, and ran an international exchange organization in California.
Alissa and her husband, Neal, moved into their Mt. Tabor home in 1994 when Neal became the head of Mercy Corps. While Alissa has volunteered for Mercy Corps around the world, most of her professional and volunteer time has been devoted to the community, city and state where she and Neal raised their three children.
Alissa founded the Saturday Academy Outreach program for under-represented ethnic groups in math and science fields, directed the Hanna Andersson Children’s Foundation, and was the Oregon Solutions Program Manager to rebuild the Vernonia Schools after the flooding.
Her volunteer commitments included serving on the boards of Impact NW, NW Health Foundation, Portland Children’s Levy, and the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families and Community. She was an active parent volunteer at Atkinson, Mt. Tabor Middle School, Hosford, DaVinci, and Cleveland.
In the legislature, Alissa chairs the House Committee on Human Services & Housing, and serves on the House Health Care and House Early Childhood & Family Support committees — all critical levers in improving the social determinants of health in Oregon.