News & Updates

OR State OPDS Seeks Executive Director
August 5, 2021 | Alison Pagan

The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) is seeking an Executive Director for the State of Oregon’s Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS).

As guardian of the legal rights and interests of public defense clients and the public’s interest in equal justice and due process of law, PDSC is looking for a leader to champion the effective delivery of public defense services in our state. OPDS is responsible for providing funding and oversight for the defense of criminal and juvenile cases at all stages, for providing counsel for parents and children in dependency cases, and for patients in civil commitment cases.

We seek a leader who demonstrates both a deep understanding of the critical role of public defense in upholding the highest ideals of justice as well as the ability to turn those ideals into systems that serve the public with integrity and efficiency.  The ideal candidate will approach their work by balancing their passion for reforming the state’s criminal justice system with the ability to operationalize these reforms in ways that are practical and efficient for staff and service providers. Building relationships with stakeholders in many different roles, from service providers to legislators, is critical to this work, and the successful candidate will be able to collaborate with others to devise and promote solutions to improve the ways OPDS provides its services.

OPDS is an independent agency in the Judicial Branch, governed by the PDSC independently of other agencies, commissions and boards within all branches of state government.  OPDS is based in Salem, Oregon, and employs 108 staff, organized into four divisions: the Executive Division, the Compliance, Audit, and Performance Division, the Appellate Division, and the Administrative Services Division. The agency negotiates contracts with trial-level public defense providers and administers and distributes funds for representation and related services for criminal, juvenile, and civil commitment cases. The agency provides compliance and oversight to providers through quality assurance practices, training, and education.  Financial Services processes all expenses related to representation in public defense cases. The Appellate Division provides direct legal representation in the state appellate courts in criminal cases, juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases, and parole cases. Other internal operational services include: data collection and analysis, general counsel, human resources, information technology services, internal audit, and policy development.

For more information, including how to apply, click here.