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Chief Executive Officer and Founder 

Johnell Bell is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Espousal Strategies LLC, a boutique consultancy that provides government relations, public and stakeholder engagement services to businesses, private-public partnerships, nonprofits, and government agencies. He is also the Chief of Equity Officer for the Interstate Bridge Program. 

Prior to founding Espousal, Johnell served as State Field Director for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley where he led the senator’s forward-facing outreach and state field operations. Johnell also served as Director of Diversity and Transit Equity for TriMet where he served as the agency’s Chief Diversity Officer overseeing Title VI, D/MWESB, transit equity, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. His efforts received national recognition and he helped to set Oregon’s record of awarding over $170 million to DBE firms during the construction of the Orange line. 

He works with an array of stakeholders – citizens, international construction firms, D/M/W/ESB enterprises, and government officials – to design, implement, monitor, and document successful initiatives for D/M/W/ESB utilization, equity and inclusion, community engagement, and business, workforce, and community development. 

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