Xan has lived in Oregon for more than 25 years. Before earning a Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University, she attended Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington (Economics, Marine Policy).
Xan moved to Corvallis to deepen her understanding of the ways in which land-use management affects fisheries, and focused her research on comparative approaches to salmon management across the North Pacific. Her academic work led directly to a position with Wild Salmon Center, an international conservation organization based in Portland. Xan served as the second-in-command as the organization grew rapidly from three to 33 staff, sharing responsibility for all facets of organizational management, including infrastructure, hiring and finances.
As her only son reached school age, Xan chose to leave international conservation in favor of local work, taking the helm of Marys River Watershed Council. She continued to hone her organizational and problem-solving skills, while becoming familiar with the people, issues and landscapes of the Marys River and Benton County. In 2016, Xan left her conservation career to run for Benton County Commissioner, because she thought community members might welcome her values: diversity, equity, inclusion, collaboration, transparency, and sustainability.
While we cannot lose sight of our long-term goals, Xan’s focus is currently on COVID-19:
Vote for Xan, because community is the answer in times of crisis; together, we can build a better Benton County.