Ben Cannon at a coffee talk at Sweetness Bakery in Southeast Portland, February 2009
|Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 46th district
|Preceded by||Steve March|
|Succeeded by||Alissa Keny-Guyer|
|Alma mater||University of Oxford, Washington University in St. Louis|
Ben Cannon is an American educator and policymaker from Oregon. He was elected in 2006 to the Oregon House of Representatives, representing the state's 46th District, which covers portions of southeast and northeast Portland. He won re-election in 2008 and 2010. In 2011, he resigned to become the Education Policy Advisor to Governor John Kitzhaber. In 2013, he was appointed to lead Oregon's new Higher Education Coordinating Commission.
A graduate of West Linn High School in West Linn, Oregon, Cannon was educated at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he edited the campus newspaper and co-authored Walking Historic Downtown St. Louis (2000). He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1999, and went to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. There he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics before taking a graduate degree in Comparative and International Education. Cannon returned to Oregon to become a middle school teacher at the Arbor School of Arts and Sciences in Tualatin.
Cannon was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006. He served as chair of the House Environment and Water Committee in 2009-2010 and as its co-chair in 2011. In 2011, he teamed with Rep. Vicki Berger to pass a sweeping expansion of the iconic Oregon Bottle Bill. He was also responsible for successful legislation promoting car-sharing, clean fuels, and online voter registration. In 2009, he gained notoriety for proposing a major increase to the Oregon beer tax, which is among the nation's lowest.
Cannon was distinctive as the only member of Oregon's Legislature who refused to accept campaign contributions from political action committees. An online video promoted his effort to fund his 2010 re-election campaign by receiving $20 contributions from more than 1000 individuals.
In August 2011, Cannon resigned as State Representative when Governor John Kitzhaber appointed him as his education policy adviser. Cannon helped shepherd the state's efforts to win a waiver from No Child Left Behind and was an architect of an overhaul of Oregon's higher education system in 2013. In October, 2013, he was appointed Executive Director for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, a newly created position that is the state's top higher education official.
- Project Vote Smart – Representative Ben Cannon (OR) profile
- Follow the Money – Ben Cannon
- 2006 campaign contributions
- "Gov. Kitzhaber signs vast expansion of Oregon Bottle Bill". The Oregonian. June 9, 2011.
- "How Oregon's bottle bill was greatly expanded in a legislative session made for killing bills". The Oregonian. May 26, 2011.
- "Oregon car-sharing bill could open up new avenues to those who need wheels -- but don't want to buy them". The Oregonian. June 7, 2011.
- "Bill to cut carbon emissions from gasoline, diesel fuel, gains approval". The Oregonian. June 25, 2009.
- Tishenko, Alex (January 1, 2010). "Online voter registration in Oregon: towards an election administration triple bottom line". Stanford Law and Policy Review.
- "Coming Soon to Oregon: Online Voter Registration!". Blue Oregon. June 23, 2009.
- "2009 Beer Tax R.I.P". The Oregonian. June 18, 2009.
- Har, Janie (August 16, 2011). "Gov. John Kitzhaber picks Rep. Ben Cannon as top education adviser". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- "Oregon wins waiver from No Child Left Behind law, will judge schools, teachers differently". The Oregonian. April 14, 2013.
- "Oregon higher education stands to get a powerful new overseer". The Oregonian. April 14, 2013.
- "Ben Cannon, education adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber, tapped to oversee all of higher ed in Oregon". The Oregonian. October 3, 2013.