Policy and Research Director
Christian Gaston is a native Oregonian. He was born in St. Johns, but has lived in a handful of areas within the Portland-metro area. He graduated from Sandy High School and attended Portland State University to study English.
Currently, Christian is the policy and research director for Chair Kafoury’s staff. His job entails gathering information on systems and policies and suggesting improvements based on the evidence.
“There’s a lot of commitment and a lot of vision on this floor, and certainly in everybody else that I’ve met who works for the county… it’s a pretty collaborative place,” he says.
From a young age, Christian was intrigued by how systems work. Growing up he says he enjoyed CSPAN and studying infrastructure.
His curiosity and knack for research has led him to unexpected opportunities. In college, Christian jumped at the opportunity to become a writer for the Vanguard, Portland State’s student publication. He describes himself as always being the bookish type, but his dedication to finding answers motivated his reporting. Later, Christian would add publications such as the Willamette Week, The Oregonian, The NW Examiner and other news outlets to his résumé.
Christian believes that affordable housing and disparities in services are especially important issues that many governments struggle with. For Multnomah County, Christian is committed to continuing the work to solve them.
“They’re two things that we can do here. They’re fully within our mission and within our reach and I think they’re certainly the Chair’s priorities..,” he says.
In his free time, Christian enjoys spending time with his wife, Sami, playing the guitar and listening to podcasts. Among his favorite artists are the Beatles and David Bowie and he’s been tuning into In Our Time on BBC lately.