The Street Trust’s leader Jillian Detweiler will step down

The Street Trust’s leader Jillian Detweiler will step down

Detweiler at the 2018 Alice Awards gala.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

After three years at the helm of The Street Trust, Executive Director Jillian Detweiler plans to leave the organization. “It is the right time for me to step down,” she said in a statement released Friday.

The Street Trust, which was known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance before a name and mission change in 2016, is a Portland-based nonprofit that aims to improve bicycling, walking, and transit.

Instead of searching for a new leader, The Street Trust has named three current staffers to new “co-director” positions. Current Advocacy Director Richa Poudyal, Development Director Tia Sherry, and Director of Finance and Operations Greg Sutliff will “embrace a new leadership model.” The staffers will maintain their current responsibilities and split ED duties.

“The response to combined economic, public health, climate, and social justice crises must drive transformation to a just community rather than restore a normal that was not working for so many,” Detweiler said about her departure. “The Street Trust will promote its mission with a management team that shares power and reflects the changes we would like to see in society.”


Co-directors Greg Sutliff (left), Tia Sherry, and Richa Poudyal.

The Street Trust’s Programs and Events Director Judge Kemp added that, “As The Street Trust works to center transportation justice, we must challenge traditional power structures that have shaped transportation policy, infrastructure, and spaces. A shift towards shared leadership is one way for The Street Trust to lean into transportation justice internally and respond to the systems that need to change.”

Detweiler was hired in 2017 after the dismissal of former ED Rob Sadowsky and had previously worked as a senior planner at Trimet and policy director for former Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

During her tenure, The Street Trust launched a political action fund and lobbied the Oregon Legislature to help pass a number of laws including a clarification to Oregon’s bike lane law and lower speed limits. The organization was also part of a coalition that helped craft and support Metro’s “Get Moving 2020” investment measure that will be on the ballot in November.

As for why she chose to move on, Detweiler said “financial headwinds” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic were part of the decision, but that the organization is “in a stable financial position” due to donations and a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan.

“It’s the right time [to step down],” Detweiler said, “Because The Street Trust has staff ready to lead. I wanted to give new leadership the longest runway I could to take off.”

Detweiler’s last day will be August 14th.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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