Skip to Content
Tue, 03/01/2016

Derrick Olsen of Greater Portland, Inc. to succeed Maria Wulff as President of World Affairs Council of Oregon

Press Releases | Board and Staff


World Affairs Council of Oregon announces new leadership

Greater Portland, Inc.’s Derrick Olsen to succeed Maria Wulff as President


February 16, 2016, Portland, Ore. — The World Affairs Council of Oregon is proud to announce that the Board of Trustees has selected Derrick Olsen as its new President, replacing Maria Wulff who is retiring after over 20 years of exceptional service to the Council.  Olsen will start his new position on March 1, 2016.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the new President of the World Affairs Council of Oregon,” said Olsen.  “As someone who grew up in Oregon and has worked on international issues for over 20 years – both in the U.S. and internationally - this is a dream come true.  I look forward to building on Maria’s outstanding legacy in leading our great team of staff, members, volunteers, partners, and Boards in nationally recognized programs in education, visitor programs, and speakers.  We will look to grow that work and will reach an increasingly diverse audience,” said Olsen.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with Derrick’s selection,” said Council President Maria Wulff.  “The Council is a national leader and needs someone with his skills to continue to build the organization locally and as a national model.”  The Council is off to a great start in 2016, with the International Speaker Series “Which Way Ahead?”kicking off February 29 with Thomas Friedman.

“In observing Derrick’s accomplishments over the last several years, the Board of Trustees is excited to have someone of his caliber with a unique combination of extensive international experience, strong local ties, and nonprofit management experience to lead the next chapter for this critical organization,“ said Council Board of Trustees Chair Randy Miller.

Derrick is currently the Vice President of Regional Strategy at Greater Portland Inc (GPI) where he leads the implementation of Greater Portland Global, the region’s Global Trade and Investment Plan developed with the Portland Development Commission and other key partners as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint program of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.  GPI is an economic development nonprofit that provides support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, covering seven counties in Oregon and SW Washington.

Previously, Derrick managed international trade and investment issues for over four years with Business Oregon (the Oregon Business Development Department).  Derrick also has over 13 years of experience managing political and economic issues as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State in Latin America, Asia, and Washington, DC, with four overseas tours including as Chief of the U.S. Embassy’s Political Section in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

He has served on the Board of Trustees for the World Affairs Council of Oregon since 2012, serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Economic Development Association, and on the International Air Service Executive Committee.

Fluent in Spanish, Derrick grew up in Oregon and graduated from Tigard High School.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.  He and his wife Rebecca are proud parents of their son James, a college sophomore, and their daughter Morgan, a high school junior.


About the World Affairs Council of Oregon: The mission of the World Affairs Council of Oregon is to broaden public awareness and understanding of international affairs and to engage Oregonians with the world. The Council's staff and programs work to serve as a community resource on international affairs, enhance international education in the schools, and sponsor international professional visitors.  The World Affairs Council is a private, non- partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.


#  #  #


World Affairs Council of Oregon
communityatworldoregon [dot] org

Tel: (503) 306-5252

Hosted by Spiretech