Xan Augerot, Chair
A lifelong Northwesterner, Commissioner Xan (“Zan”) Augerot has lived in Oregon for more than 20 years. She was elected to the Board of Commissioners in November 2016 and took office in January 2017.
Commissioner Augerot’s life outlook was shaped by being raised in a multicultural household. Many conversations at her family’s dinner table were held in Spanish, Romanian or Russian. Commissioner Augerot has learned to listen carefully for the core values conveyed by people, and the shared values that often underlie strikingly different stories. She believes once a common goal and values are clearly articulated, implementation strategies are simpler to negotiate.
Commissioner Augerot moved to Corvallis to deepen her understanding of the ways in which land-use management affects fisheries, and focus her research on comparative approaches to salmon management across the North Pacific. She served as the second in command at the Wild Salmon Center, an international conservation organization based in Portland.
As her only son reached school age, Commissioner Augerot left international conservation in favor of taking the helm of Marys River Watershed Council. She continued to hone her organizational and problem-solving skills, while becoming familiar with the people, issues and landscapes of the Marys River and Benton County.
She believes that strong community, high-quality education and a diverse economy are the foundation for a robust and flourishing Benton County. As the climate changes and more people are drawn to the Willamette Valley, governance and infrastructure will be stressed at all levels — city, county and state. Healthy families, communities and environment will be fundamental to a healthy Benton County. Commissioner Augerot will work closely with city leaders and rural residents to create favorable conditions for affordable housing development.
Commissioner Augerot’s interest in food systems, environmental conservation and collaborative problem-solving carry over into her personal life. Before earning a Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University, she attended Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington (Economics, Marine Policy). She and her family garden on a half-acre lot in South Corvallis, producing food for themselves and their neighbors. She is a dancer and amateur fiddler, active with Corvallis Folklore Society. She volunteers with Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), Leadership Corvallis and the Benton Community Foundation.