Meet Our Staff

Mara Gross, Interim Executive Director (she/her/hers) Portland, OR

Mara joined PSR in November 2023 as the Interim Executive Director. Mara has worked for twenty years in organizational strategy and advocacy. She focuses on building strong, authentic relationships to help mission-driven organizations advance programs and policy for social and environmental justice. This is her fifth ED role, and her fourth in an interim capacity. 


 

Samantha_Hernandez_photo_(compressed_for_website__cropped).jpegSamantha Hernandez, Healthy Climate Program Director (she/her/hers) Portland, OR

Samantha joined Oregon PSR’s staff in May of 2021 as our Climate Justice Organizer and transitioned into the Healthy Climate Program Director role in January of 2024. Her efforts are focused on supporting campaigns and coalitions advocating for climate justice and a just transition. Samantha works to support coalitions such as Stand Up To Oil, Build/Shift, and Oregon PSR’s Healthy Climate Action Team. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a bachelor’s degree in hispanic studies and environmental studies. After Hialeah, FL, Samantha considers Portland to be a second home. The enriching friendships she has made while interning at local organizations like Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Portland VOZ, and Growing Gardens has greatly informed her perspectives on the importance of frontline community-led action. 

Anna_photo.jpgAnna Kahler, Communications Manager, (she/they) Portland, OR

Anna (like sauna) joined Oregon PSR in the summer of 2022 as the communications manager. As a deep nerd she has a love for learning new information and sharing her favorite facts with anyone who will listen. She is excited to support the amazing work Oregon PSR does and amplify their messaging to a broader audience. Anna comes to PSR with 7 years of experience in community organizing in Chicago, IL and Portland, OR. Her organizing work is always centered around community members as she finds great joy in uplifting others and bringing people together to create change. Anna graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in Art History and Political Economy. She finds the visual expression of movements for change to be infinitely fascinating and is excited to apply her knowledge and skills to OPSR’s communication campaigns. 

Samantha_Paladini_headshot.jpgSamantha Paladini, Program Assistant, (she/her/hers) Portland, OR

Samantha joined Oregon PSR in the summer of 2023 as the Program Assistant through Quaker Voluntary Service, a yearlong fellowship based around social justice and intentional community. Sam graduated into the pandemic from Whittier College, CA after studying English and Theatre. She spent time as a mentor for students with disabilities, stage manager, and artist’s assistant before she moved to Boston, MA for her first year with QVS. Sam worked in climate adaptation as the Climate Resilience Hubs Program Coordinator with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) through the nonprofit Better Future Project. Samantha is looking forward to continuing her work in climate justice and connecting with Portland’s community to actively bring about equitable change.