Position Information

Position Information Message
Executive Director


The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) is seeking an executive with demonstrated leadership and management skills to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS).

The PDSC is an eight-member commission comprised of seven members appointed by the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice serves as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the commission.  The Executive Director is appointed by, reports to, and serves at the pleasure of the PDSC.  For more information regarding the Commission and statutory responsibilities please refer to ORS Chapter 151.

The Office off Public Defense Services is an independent agency in the Judicial Branch, governed by the PDSC independently of other Agencies, Commissions and Boards within all branches of state government.

The agency currently employs 96 employees, in two divisions, at three separate locations.

This recruitment announcement will be used to establish a list of qualified candidates.  The anticipated appointment start date is on or before July 1, 2021.



The annual salary range for this position is $139,869.00 to $206,604.00.

The state offers a generous benefit packing including; contributions toward individual and family health and dental insurance, term life insurance, short-and long-term disability insurance.  Other benefits include employee contributions to the Public Employee Retirement System, paid holidays, vacation, sick leave and personal business leave.



The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive and Financial Officer of the statewide public defense program and is directly responsible and accountable to the Public Defense Services Commission.  The Executive Director ensures the provision of competent legal representation in state court proceedings where mandated by the federal and state constitution and state law for persons who are financially eligible for such representation, in compliance with all state laws and OPDS policies and consistent with national standards for such representation.

Duties of this position are defined in ORS 151.219 Public defense services executive director; duties.

Position: Executive Director
Organization: State of Oregon Office of Public Defense Services
Location: Salem,  OR 
United States
Salary: The annual salary range for this position is $139,869.00 to $206,604.00.
Posting Start Date: 3/22/2021
Date Posted: 3/22/2021

Minimum qualifications:

Ten years of management experience in a public or private organization which included responsibility for each of the following: a) development of program rules and policies, b) development of long- and short-range goals and plans, c) program evaluation, d) budget preparation, and e) prior experience in the provision or administration of public defense service or other government-mandated service, government finance, public or business administration, or legislative or judicial service.


Desired Attributes include:

  • Strong communication and leadership skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders including but not limited to; PDSC members, defense service providers, OPDS staff, judges, members of the Legislative Assembly, prosecutors, persons and entities who undertake studies of Oregon public Defense program, the press, and persons who receive state-paid legal representation.

  • Strong support and engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Initiate and influence positive change, gaining support of external and internal stakeholders in decisions and in building effective partnerships.

  • Mentor and develop employees through training, education, and performance management.

  • The ability to identify, analyze, and effect changes in a complex system to establish new programs and procedures that will improve the system overall.

  • Administering programs limited by significant constraints; lack of direct control over provider workloads, limited budget resources, supporting constituencies, and internal agency infrastructure to administer programs.

  • Experience with state budget and legislative practices and the associated timelines

  • Knowledge of state agency operations

  • Knowledge of public defense or criminal justice practices



Interested applicants must submit the following materials with their applications:

  • Resume.

  • A cover letter no more than three pages that describes how you meet the minimum qualifications and desired attributes, including examples of your experience; and background that demonstrates these attributes.

  • Three professional references.


Failure to submit the materials required will automatically disqualify an applicant from the process.

Qualified applicants whose background most closely matches the needs of the positions will be invited to interview with the PDSC. 



Status: This listing expires on: 6/20/2021
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Organization Information
State of Oregon Office of Public Defense Services

Salem,  OR 97301
United States
Wendy Heckman, HR Manager