Cylvia Hayes may be the most influential first lady in Oregon history.
Since Gov. John Kitzhaber took office in January 2011, Hayes, 47, has played a central role in his administration. She keeps a desk in the governor’s office, attends senior staff meetings and communicates regularly with agency directors.
Ms. Hayes, who had earned a master of environmental studies degree from The Evergreen State College in 1997 and had become an environmental activist in Bend, a small county seat in central Oregon, was one of those eager to press for environmental change. She created a nonprofit group that she later converted into a for-profit business called 3E Strategies, a consulting firm that promotes sustainable energy.
She travels on trade missions to Asia and Europe not just as the governor’s partner, but as an important player conferring with other leaders. The bio she provided to the National Governors Association highlights her role as a “policy adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber on the issue of clean energy and economic development.”more » « less