Back to All Blog Posts

Carrie Douglass Selected as One of Nation's Outstanding Rising Leaders

Carrie Douglass

Washington, D.C. – Today, Bend, Oregon School Board Member Carrie Douglass was selected as one of 19 leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a selective national network of state and local elected officials with about 200 members, with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland.

Members of the network have been chosen from more than 2,000 nominations over NewDEAL’s 13 years, and are united by their work to enact pro-growth progressive solutions across their diverse array of communities. As part of NewDEAL, they are recognized for their pragmatic, forward-thinking approach and commitment to making government work to solve challenges facing their constituents. Members have included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who joined as a mayor, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, and Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read.

Douglass joins the group at a time when state and local leaders are on the frontlines of responding to economic issues around the cost of living and the changing nature of work, as well as challenges caused by climate change, racial inequities, threats to our democracy, and emerging technologies. At a moment when unprecedented federal resources are flowing to states, counties, and cities from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Inflation Reduction Act, NewDEALers are supporting each other in thinking big and sharing model policies and programs, including through in-person and virtual convenings.

In one effort, NewDEAL has tracked effective uses of ARPA funds, which continue to be disbursed at the state and local levels, highlighting some of the innovative ways members of the network have improved the quality of life in their communities. NewDEALers also led a working group that released a Democracy Playbook, featuring actionable steps elected officials across all levels of state and local government can take to strengthen elections. NewDEAL Leaders’ work also has contributed to reports of policy recommendations on education, climate change, broadband, and the future of work.

NewDEALers’ next major convening will take place at the 2023 Leaders Conference, November 15-17 in Washington, DC, where about 60 members will join other innovators from the public and private sectors to discuss a forward-looking agenda for state and local Democrats to address the biggest challenges facing our country, including A.I., housing, education, climate change, and threats to our democracy.

Douglass was selected to join NewDEAL in part because of her demonstrated leadership to prioritize innovation, equity and excellence in public schools. As chair of the board throughout the pandemic, Douglass led her District to be the first large District in Oregon to reopen schools in person, pushing through politics to do what was best for students. Douglass works to increase student and parent voice while dismantling racial inequities in public schools not only through her work in Bend but also as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of School Board Partners, a national non-profit organization that connects emerging, inspired, and diverse elected community leaders serving on local school boards with the training, support and mentorship needed to successfully push against the status quo to create high-quality and equitable school systems.

NewDEAL Leaders have found broad support for their work across red, blue, and purple states and cities, with more than 20 rising to higher office in the past few years. Throughout the organization’s history, more than one in four NewDEAL Leaders has moved to higher office. These leaders include members of Congress, such as Marilyn Strickland in Washington, Brittany Pettersen in Colorado, and Jennifer McClellan in Virginia, Governor Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, and new Mayors in cities from San Jose, CA to Stamford, CT.

“We are in a vitally important moment for state and local leaders as we work to channel transformational levels of federal aid while grappling with the challenges that will continue to affect the economic security and prosperity of the Bend metro area for decades to come,” said Douglass. “I look forward to sharing lessons with and learning from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance, and I am excited to be part of NewDEAL’s efforts to expand opportunities for Americans in communities nationwide.”

About NewDEAL

The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. Most importantly, the organization facilitates the exchange of ideas among its members and connects them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of NewDEAL members – statewide officials, legislators, mayors, councilmembers, and other local leaders – to 206 leaders from 49 states.

Learn more about Douglass and the NewDEAL at

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:
Alabama: Representative Phillip Ensler
Arizona: Representative Laura Terech
Colorado: Representative Meghan Lukens
Georgia: Representative Tanya Miller
Iowa: Representative Megan Srivinas
Illinois: Representative Bob Morgan
Louisiana: New Orleans School Board Member Ethan Ashley
Minnesota: Representative Zack Stephenson
Nebraska: Lincoln Councilmember Tom Beckius
New Jersey: Assemblymember Raj Mukherji
New Mexico: Albuquerque School Board Member Danielle Gonzales
Oklahoma: Representative Arturo Alonso
Oregon: Representative Ben Bowman
Oregon: Bend School Board Member Carrie Douglass
Pennsylvania: Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis
Pennsylvania: Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton
Texas: Representative Salman Bhojani
Virginia: Senator Aaron Rouse
Wisconsin: Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson