President & CEO
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Dave caught the bug for public service while watching his dad serve on a city council and his mom co-found a League of Women Voters chapter when Dave was in elementary school. He learned the power of hard work, doing your homework, respecting diverse perspectives, finding solutions where everyone wins, elevating the voice of disenfranchised communities, and serving with integrity. Dave continues to live by these values -- plus 30 years of public and private sector experience -- as he leads Columbia Public Affairs and represents the interests of our clients.
Dave completed 10 years representing Clackamas County in the Oregon House of Representatives, including service as Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. Under his leadership, Oregon passed the historic 2009 Jobs and Transportation Act, enacted Healthy Kids health insurance for 90,000 uninsured children and 30,000 low-income adults, reformed the “double majority” election requirement to improve school facilities, amended the Oregon Constitution to allow state K-12 capital funding, created the Oregon Business Xpress one-stop online tool for small businesses, passed record investments in community college facilities, restored 24/7 Oregon State Police highway coverage, and created Oregon’s first Rainy Day Fund to protect services during recessions.
Prior to starting Columbia Public Affairs, Dave served as Senior Vice President of Strategies 360, where he leveraged his deep experience, strategic thinking, and tactical implementation to help clients pass Prescription Drug Price reform laws to provide greater transparency about drug price setting by pharmaceutical manufacturers and more advance notice of increases, the most progressive Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance law in the U.S., historically large increases in Oregon State Police funding, record increases in the Community College Support Fund and Public University Support Fund, a 20% increase in state funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who serve foster children, a commercial and residential foreclosure moratorium, and over $35 million in small business emergency assistance.
Previously, Dave served as President & CEO of the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC), the association serving defense and security industry businesses across the Northwest. Dave grew PNDC from 115 to over 300 business members, broadened member services and events, grew their governmental advocacy, and fortified the association's financial stability. He previously served for over 12 years as executive director for two other associations – the Columbia River Channel Coalition and the Association of Pacific Ports – working to strengthen trade and effectiveness for ports throughout the Pacific. As a longtime association CEO, Dave knows the vitally important role that non-profit associations play in advocating for and serving members.
Born in Port Angeles, WA, Dave attended Sheldon High School in Eugene and Columbia University in New York. He served 10 years as a congressional staffer for U.S. Representatives Louise Slaughter (NY), Darlene Hooley (OR), and Brian Baird (WA). Dave is a member of the Clackamas Community College Board, past president of the Oregon City Rotary Club, vice president of Grant Park Church, chair of the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine Advisory Council, board treasurer of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, a former member of the Oregon City School Board, and past national president of American Baptist Churches USA. Dave and Tonia Hunt have been married since 1992. Their son Andrew is a Princeton University graduate and current software engineer in San Francisco, and their daughter Emily is a senior at the University of Oregon Honors College preparing for law school.