Knope of the Week: Don Krupp, Clackamas County Administrator

Posted on February 21, 2014

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Thoughtful. Approachable. Inspiring. Ethical. 

At yesterday’s micronetworking event, we learned Don Krupp is not your everyday county manager. He is a mix of Indiana Jones, Ben Wyatt, and Mitchell Silver. He has written two books on biking, he has a twin brother, and he spent a large part of his career in state government.

We covered a wide array of topics with Don including the recruitment that brought him to Clackamas County from Thurston County, the role that Singer Hill played in landing Don in Clackamas County, the Richey Clovis Cache dig of 1990, the long-term vision for Clackamas County, and his impressions of Oregon Metro.

Background Check

Connect: LinkedIn

Don served as County Manager and Chief Administrative Officer for Thurston County, Washington from 2001 to 2013.

Other than his work in Thurston County, Don was the Deputy DirectorWashington State Department of Community Development and Assistant Director for Community Preservation & DevelopmentWashington State Department of Community Development

Don has a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a bachelors from San Diego State University.

Word on the Street


So what exactly did we learn from this week’s Knope of the Week. We turn to Don’s peers for the answer.

Krista Weatherford, Clackamas County, Department of Employee Services

Don’s career in government shows that the opportunities and projects are exciting and rewarding – some of them are good enough story to turn into a movie.   I thought Don’s examples of using relationship building and humility to bridge gaps and forge understanding are key elements in becoming a successful leader in any industry.

Ben Kittelson, ELGL Project Manager and PSU MPA Studentleslie-knope-fierce

Don’s passion and commitment to public service came through strong during the micro-networking event. You can tell he loves the work he does and that is reassuring and inspiring for me as I start my career. I loved the archeology story and I hope I can get casted as an extra once the screenplay gets written.

Tami Little, Clackamas County, Department of Assessment & Taxation

It was very interesting and inspiring to hear Don Krupp talk about his career journey and share some note-worthy stories. I was impressed by the common threads of integrity and passion throughout his discussion. His leadership style and sincerity seems to provide an ability to connect with people. I appreciate his desire to challenge himself and to strive to listen to all parties involved in an effort to seek resolutions for a multitude of issues.

Russell Bither-Terry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I was impressed by what Don said about how his commitment to helping the elected officials achieve their goals even if they end up being different than his policy preferences. I also really dug his story about negotiations and conflict management.

Matt Michel, Canby Utility, General Manager

At lunch Don emphasized more than once that humble patience is a key skill for leading employees and an organization. His archaeology story was a thrill-a-minute ride!

Sarah Brown, Clackamas County, District Attorney’s Office

I found Don to be ethical, intelligent, thoughtful, and yet decisive. Don has demonstrated his ability to lead through influence not authority.

Josh Halladay, City of Falls City, Budget Staffleslie-knope-party

Don showed himself to be an approachable man.  As a student, it is rare when executives introduce themselves to me, but that is exactly what Don did.  It was great to hear him talk about his experiences, and just by spending time with him, one can tell his knowledge and patience make him an asset to any local government organization.

Kent Wyatt, City of Tigard, Senior Management Analyst

In a short hour forum, Don was able to inspire us and engage us in connecting our everyday work with the greater public good. Don’s work on the Clovis dig project has already assured him a place in the Washington state history books. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities and opportunities he brings to Clackamas County

Laurel Butman, Clackamas County, Deputy County Manager

I am thoroughly enjoying working with Administrator Don Krupp at Clackamas County. He is a thoughtful, collaborative, and principled administrator and communicator. We are lucky to have him on board!

Kirsten Wyatt, City of West Linn, Assistant City Manager

Don provided invaluable advice to ELGL members about the best ways to manage people; advance your career; and advocate for issues you are passionate about. ELGL is proud to call don a friend and mentor.

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