Board Member Profile: OEC Board Chair Phil Wu
In 2020, after three previous years of service on the board, OEC welcomed Phil Wu as its newest Board Chair. As a retired Kaiser Permanente and Medford Clinic pediatrician, Phil brings a deep commitment to human health and a passion for equity and the environment to our work.
“For many years as a pediatrician, I’ve advocated that young people should be more physically active and spend more time outside in nature. The logical extension of wanting to be in nature is the desire to protect it from the impact of human activity.”
And Phil, quite literally, walks his talk, by getting outdoors whenever he can.
“Smith Rock and Cove Palisades State Parks are our absolute favorites. We never miss an opportunity to visit and hike!”
Phil’s passion for transportation also intersects with OEC’s current work.
“Well before I became associated with OEC, transportation was an area of great interest to me because it is a key factor in people becoming more or less physically active, being able to access services that are important to daily life, a critical element of economic growth, and one of the most important drivers of climate change.”
Phil has participated on the transportation committee of the Westside Economic Alliance, the Washington County Transportation Futures Study project, and Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT’s) Transportation Options Policy Advisory Committee. He is currently a member of ODOT’s Region 1 (Metro area + Hood River) Area Commission on Transportation (ACT) and ODOT’s Equity Mobility Advisory Committee, which is charged with looking at the equity implications of the proposed tolling around I-405 and I-5.
Phil joined OEC’s Board of Directors in 2017, bringing extensive non-profit volunteer experience, having served on the boards of the Intertwine Alliance, Outside In, the Northwest Health Foundation, the Community Cycling Center and others.
“OEC’s track record speaks for itself. OEC has an awesome, dedicated, and technically expert staff. The Board represents the entire state and many disciplines and is able to provide a strategic perspective that complements the staff.”
As Board Chair and a person of color, Phil is strongly dedicated to moving OEC’s work on equity and environmental justice. He recently concluded two years of service on Metro’s Equity Strategy Advisory Committee.
“Equity and environmental justice are now, rightfully, front and center in OEC’s work because we recognize the impact of generations of overt and covert discrimination and the resulting disparities across all dimensions of daily life experienced by communities of color.”
OEC Executive Director Diana Nuñez added that “as OEC embarks on its second 50 years, Phil is the right leader, at the right time, bringing important new energy and perspective. Oregon – and is environmental challenges – are rapidly changing, and Phil’s leadership and uniquely diverse background is greatly appreciated!”