Phil Keisling’s career over four decades has included stints in the worlds of journalism, elective politics, the private sector, and academia. In 2019, he retired from his most recent job, as director of the Center for Public Service in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. He has devoted much of his time since to his volunteer work as founder and chair of the National Vote at Home Institute (www.voteathome.org).
Keisling’s journalism career included four years as an investigative reporter for Portland’s Willamette Week, followed by two years as an editor for the Washington Monthly magazine in Washington D.C from 1982 to 1984. Keisling then returned to Oregon, where he worked as a legislative staff assistant to Oregon’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Vera Katz, prior to being elected a State Representative himself in 1988.
In 1991, Keisling was appointed Oregon Secretary of State by Governor Barbara Roberts. He was then elected and re-elected to this statewide position, whose duties included oversight of the state election system. During his tenure, he helped lead the successful effort to make Oregon the nation’s first state to conduct all elections by automatically mailing ballots to all active registered voters.
After leaving elected politics, Keisling worked as an Executive Vice President with CorSource Technology Group, an Oregon-based software services company, and then worked at PSU from 2010 through 2019.
Keisling graduated from Yale in 1977 with a Bachelors degree in American Studies.