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Our Team

Nujhat Ahmed, Project Associate

Nujhat has completed master’s in Public Policy from Portland State University and formerly earned a Masters of Government and a Masters of Social Science in International Relations. She is currently working as a Project Associate in NPCC. She has experience as a teaching and research assistant, and prior to that was a program supervisor for a global exchange program between the UK and Bangladesh.

Sarah Giles, Project Manager / Communications

Sarah began working for the National Policy Consensus Center in 2007 and currently is a project manager for Oregon's Kitchen Table. She was previously a Research Assistant at Oregon Health and Sciences University. From 2002-2006 Sarah taught writing at the University of Arizona where she also received her MFA in Creative Writing. She graduated cum laude from Vassar College in 2001 and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, where she taught English to elementary and secondary level students.

Mika Sakai, Project Associate / Office & Operations Coordinator

Before joining NPCC, Mika was an Office Specialist in Portland State’s Office of Independent Study. Mika first came to the United States from Japan as an exchange student. After graduating from Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan, she returned to the United States and earned post-baccalaureate degrees from Lewis & Clark College and Portland State University. She has a master's degree in TESOL from Portland State University with an emphasis on applied linguistics, and will complete a certificate of Teaching Japanese as a Foregin Language in Dec 2021. She has also been teaching English as a Second Language to non-native speakers, in particular, immigrants and refugees as a volunteer.

Wendy Willis, Director of Civic Engagement

Wendy is the Director of Civic Engagement at Portland State University's National Policy Consensus Center, where Oregon's Kitchen Table is housed, and the Executive Director of the national non-profit Kitchen Table Democracy. Wendy is a national leader in the field of civic engagement and citizen-centered decision-making.  Prior to joining PCI/NPCC, Wendy was the Executive Director for City Club of Portland, one of the most venerable civic organizations in the country.   She has also served as an Assistant Public Defender for the District of Oregon and a law clerk to Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr. of the Oregon Supreme Court.  Wendy is also a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum Oregon, a poet, and the mother of two young daughters.  She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law Center and holds a B.A. from Willamette University.

Oregon’s Kitchen Table is a program of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University and is housed within the National Policy Consensus Center.