The board of directors oversees and supports the work of Basic Rights Oregon and Basic Rights Education Fund, setting strategy, making policy, and monitoring financials. The board is responsible for helping the organization articulate a compelling vision and for partnering with the co-directors to carry out the mission.

Cierra Brown, Board Member

Attorney, Metro Law Group, LLC


Rowan Everard

Rowan Everard, Board Co-Chair

Rowan is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine and a licensed acupuncturist. He has trained healthcare providers in basic trans medicine, cultural competency with LGBTQ patients, and social justice frameworks for interfacing with LGBTQ patients for the last 4 years. He is passionate about community healing, and specializes in treating psychological trauma, chronic pain, and urogenital disorders in his private practice. He has also been involved in trans healthcare activism at the state level, including working  on ID document changes, advocating for insurance coverage for trans healthcare and helping to create the first curriculum in the state to teach medical students about the healthcare needs of transgender patients. (Pronouns: He/His)

Eric Garcia, Board Member

Human Resources Analyst, Multnomah County's Department of County Human Services
Eric Garcia joined the Basic Right Oregon board in November of 2018. He is a native of Portland, Oregon and has been an active member of the LGBTQ+ community from an early age, having co-founded Franklin High School's Gay-Straight Alliance in SE Portland in 2000 at the age of 16. While he now works in Human Resources for Multnomah County, he previously spent 13 years with Wells Fargo where he worked most recently as an Executive Assistant and served as the Co-Chair of the Oregon & SW Washington chapter of their PRIDE Team Member Network/Employee Resource Group. At Wells Fargo, Eric was also named the company's 2013 top volunteer nationwide and was awarded their Volunteer Service Award for his work as the Programming Director at Camp KC, a summer camp program for children affected by HIV. In addition to serving on the Basic Rights Oregon Board of Directors, he is also on the Ambassador Council with Our House of Portland and previous sat on the Junior Board with Cascade AIDS Project. Eric lives in SW Portland with his husband and enjoys hiking, traveling, drawing, and spending time with his friends, family, and pets. (Pronouns: He/Him/His)

Al Machemehl

Al Machemehl, Board Treasurer

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Group
Al has served on the board since 2007 and has been treasurer since 2009. He is a CPA and currently controls the monetary and operational arms of Metropolitan Group. He brings more than 20 years of financial and administrative experience to this task. When not behind a calculator or in front of a PC, you can find him in the Columbia Gorge at his getaway retreat with Buster, his overactive golden retriever, and Penelope, an overweight basset hound. He is also an avid traveler attempting to visit the “Seven Wonders of the World.” He can also be easily amused or disgusted by political matters of the day. (Pronouns: He/Him)

Rishi Puri, Board Member

Attorney, Lane Powell PC

Walter Robinson II, Board Member

Coalition Coordinator, Getting There Together
Walter joined the Basic Rights board in July 2015. A 2011 graduate from Willamette University with a degree in Political Science, he worked as Commissioner Jules Bailey’s constituent relations and policy liaison. He engaged directly with Commissioner Bailey's constituents, listened to their concerns, and helped connect them with the services they need. In addition to working in issues related to Sauvie Island, SUN Schools,  LGBTQ relations, and economic development, he also has his hand in many other policy projects. In his free time, he volunteers for Boy Scouts of America Community Impact Board, City Club of Portland's Friday Forum Committee, and the Black Male Achievement Steering Committee. (Pronouns: He/Him)

Brook Shelley

Brook Shelley, Board Secretary

Engineering Manager, Slack
Brook Shelley lives in Portland, OR with her cat, Snorri, and recently moved from Austin, TX, where she grew up. She writes and speaks about trans and queer issues occasionally for The Toast, and had her fiction/non-fiction published in two books. She enthusiastically advocates for better conditions for her fellow trans and/or queer women in tech, and beyond. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Erin Waters, Board Member

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Consultant, Kaiser Permanente Northwest
Erin Waters is a healthcare educator and community activist. Having found a home in Portland from the deep south in 2011, she has spent years dedicating herself to supporting the larger LGBTQIA2S+ community and focused on uplifting QTBIPOC identities. She was a keynote speaker at the 2018 Portland Trans Pride March and in 2019 spoke at Portland City Hall for Transgender Day of Visibility. She has a A.A. in Business Information Systems from Georgia Perimeter College and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia. As a member of the transgender community, her goal is to help everyone find better ways of improving healthcare outcomes and break down barriers to accessing affirming care. A spirit of collective action sustains her and she is driven by the words of Audre Lorde who said, ‘without community there is no liberation’. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Jackie Yerba

Jackie Yerby, Board Co-Chair

Jackie Yerby is a long-time social justice advocate and currently works as the Deputy Health Policy Advisor for Governor Kate Brown.

She previously served as the Director of Advocacy & Civic Engagement for the Urban League as well as the Executive Director for Bradley Angle, a non-profit that works with survivors of domestic violence to achieve safety and long-term stability.

Prior to joining Bradley Angle, Jackie worked as an organizer for Renew Oregon, a campaign to build broad-based grassroots support for meaningful action on climate change.  She worked with the faith community and communities of color to bring their voices into in the campaign.  She has also delivered equity training and facilitated equity strategy sessions as an Associate with the Center for Diversity and the Environment (CDE).

Jackie spent many years in the private sector, serving as the Sustainability Program Manager for Cambia Health Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based health solutions company with operations in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. Before working on sustainability, she served as Cambia’s Ethics and Compliance Officer working with management and employees to build and sustain a strong ethical culture within the company.

Jackie is very active in the community.  In addition to serving on the Basic Rights Oregon Board of Directors, she is on the boards of the Community Cycling Center and Cycle Oregon.  She had previously served on the boards of Catholic Charities and the Cascade AIDS Project where she was the Board President for FY 2013.  She was the lead organizer of Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality.  She is proud to have been named a 2016 Queer Hero.

She holds an undergraduate degree in History from Yale University, and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

She tries to find time to walk her dog, play with her cats, water her garden and ride her bike.

(Pronouns: She/Her)