Alissa has spent over 30 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, more than 90% of her professional and volunteer time has been devoted to the community where she and Neal have raised their three children.
Over the past 18 years, Alissa has worked with hundreds of parents, activists, and policy makers to invest in early childhood, public education, and healthy neighborhoods. She is a vocal advocate for the non-profit sector and under-represented communities. Most recently, she was program manager for Oregon Solutions to rebuild the Venonia Schools. And she continues to serve on the Northwest Health Foundation board.
In 2011, she was appointed by the Multnomah County Commissioners to replace Representative Ben Cannon in House District 46, which covers parts of SE and NE Portland. Last November, Alissa won her first general election to continue serving her district and all of Oregon.