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Brad Avakian

Contributing Assistant Professor

Headshot of Brad Avakian

Contact Information

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland  Oregon  97201


Avakian joined the Atkinson team as an Assistant Contributing Professor in 2019, and brings more than 20 years of experience building successful public, private for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He is known for creating strong, committed, mission-oriented teams; advancing equity and opportunity; maintaining sound fiscal operations; and establishing internal and external systems to support excellent service delivery.

Avakian established his own law practice and put his law degree to work prosecuting civil rights cases and helping develop statewide labor, employment and civil rights policies. He then turned to public service, serving in the Oregon House of Representatives, Oregon Senate and as Oregon’s Commissioner of Labor and Industries. In addition to his Atkinson duties, Avakian is the Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance at Clark College and assists local courts and attorneys as a mediator and arbitrator.

In the legislature, Avakian’s accomplishments included authoring the Oregon Renewable Energy Act, expanding Oregon’s iconic Bottle Bill and Clean Indoor Air Act, helping create the Oregon Climate Research Institute and carrying the Equality Act to passage. As Commissioner, he led the effort to return over 800 career education classes to Oregon schools, created the “Pay Equity Report,” which provided the roadmap to end pay disparities in Oregon and achieved the state’s highest ever participation rate for people of color and twice the national average for women in construction apprenticeship programs.

In his spare time, he enjoys all things wilderness – backpacking, canoeing and exploring the PNW. He also is a woodworker and antler artist.


Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Oregon State University

Juris Doctor, Lewis and Clark Law School

Professional and Work Experience

Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management, 2019-Present
Contributing Assistant Professor
Courses: Politics and Public Policy for Managers, Business Law

Clark College, 2021-Present
Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries 5/2008 – 1/2019
Commissioner (state wide elected official)

Oregon State Legislature
Senator 1/2007 - 5/2008
Representative 1/2003 - 1/2007

Law Office of Bradley P. Avakian, P.C. 5/1995 - 5/2006

Francesconi, Busch and Avakian
Partner 1/1995 - 5/1995, Associate Attorney 9/1990 - 12/1994

Honors and Distinctions

Nation’s top 50 Emerging Political Leaders, University of Virginia, Darden Graduate School of Business

Newsmaker of the Year, Daily Journal of Commerce (2009 and 2014)

Equality Advocate Award, Basic Rights Oregon

Drum Major for Justice Award, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officials

Excellence to Children Award, Oregon School Psychologists Association

Religious Freedom for All Award, NW Religious Freedom Association

Legislative Consensus Builder of the Year, Oregon League of Conservation Voters

Neuberger Award for Leadership

Outstanding Achievement in Technology, WebVisions

Gold Medal for Leadership, AFL-CIO

Oregon Legislator of the Year, Oregon Special Districts Association

Professional Activities

Washington County Public Affairs Forum, President, 2019-2021

National Association of Government Labor Officials, Western Regional Chair, 2008-2010, 2018

Wayne Morse Scholars Board, University of Oregon 2015-2019

Northwest Fusion Dance Company, Board member, 2009-2012

NW Children’s Theater, Board member, 1998-2008

Oregon Business Leadership Network, Co-chair, 2003-2008

Washington County Chapter, League of Conservation Voters, co-founder, co-chair 1999-2005

South West Music School, President and founding board member, 1992-1998

Westside Family YMCA Board, Chair Chairman’s Roundtable, 1991-1995

Portland City Club, 1991-2003, Board of Governors, 2001-2002

Portland Chamber of Commerce, Community and Government Affairs Committee, 1996-1998

Oregon State Bar, Civil Rights Section, Executive Board 1996-1997, Chair

Continuing Legal Education 1995-1996

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.