November 13


07:30 am - 09:00 am

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Clackamas County Business Alliance


Maria Ellis, Director, Federal Affairs and Executive Director, PNITA • 503.552.6762

Maria Ellis joined the Portland Business Alliance as the director of Federal Affairs and the new executive director of the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA).

Prior to the Alliance, Maria was living in Medellin, Colombia, where she consulted for American startups based in Medellin and led the 2018 Portland Best Practices trip, hosting more than 50 leaders from the Portland metro as they explored economic development and innovation in Colombia. Prior to her time in Colombia, Maria was the director of strategy, equity and communications at Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency. While there, she led a variety of projects including development of the agency’s five year strategy and planning Governor Brown’s successful trade mission to Asia, while also serving as senior advisor to the agency Director. Maria has held policy roles at Metro, including building coalitions around infrastructure funding.

Maria is a proud Colombian-American, born in Medellin, Colombia. She moved to Sacramento as a kid and learned English by watching 80s sitcoms. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of California Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) and has a master’s in urban and regional planning from Portland State University.

When not working, Maria loves kickboxing, exploring Oregon with her husband and two rescue dogs, and building community in the Rose City.