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Wilsonville Citizen Focuses On Community

COMMUNITY: Meet Zoe Mombert
By Olive Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Osmosis is a strange and magical process. Webster defines it as “an apparently effortless absorption of ideas, feelings, attitudes, etc.” In the case of Zoe Mombert, the incredibly capable and endlessly busy Assistant to the City Manager of Wilsonville, she keeps numerous committees and projects spinning along successfully throughout every day.

Zoe was born and raised in Tigard by a family deeply engaged and dedicated to public service. Her father is a lawyer and served as City Manager for Tigard. Her mother worked in the HR department for Clackamas County and then for Portland Community College. Within that warm family circle, Zoe was happily fed a sense of deep commitment to the importance of local governance along with her pablum.

The oldest of two girls, Zoe, a good student, spent time volunteering, first at the local library and then for the Peer Court, a diversion program for youth that also taught youngsters how the judicial system worked. Zoe spent her junior year as a Rotary Exchange student in France. “[The experience] opened my eyes to different cultures, amazing people and places outside of the United States. I give the program a lot of credit in shaping who I became.”

Zoe enrolled at the University of Oregon thinking she might study law, but she soon realized Planning, Public & Policies Management was the right path. “Local government was where I wanted to be.” Since she had no idea what the job market would be like and wanted to “make a positive impact in some way,” she minored in Business Administration to cover her bases.

Upon her 2007 graduation, she worked as an assistant planner in Sherwood for five years. She bought her first home in 2010 and also enrolled at Portland State while working full time, completing her masters in Public Administration in 2012.

In search of a new challenge and job, she moved to Jerome, Idaho. “It was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had,” she said. She worked as a Community Development Director and Public Information Officer, focusing mainly on economic development and planning. In 2014, missing her family and Oregon, particularly the water, “my happy place,” she returned home and worked nearly five more years as a Management Analyst in community development in Tualatin. However, finding it mostly internally focused, she realized she wanted to help make change working directly with the public.

After moving to Wilsonville in 2015, Zoe valued the thoughtfully planned community, parks and local amenities. In 2018, she took the position of Assistant to the City Manager, and discovered how much she appreciated both the organization and the folks who work for the city who really cared about the community. She then took over organizing the Citizen’s Academy and the Community Enhancement Committee. More recently, she took on the Tourism Program and created the Civics 2.0 Program, a project that allows a deep dive into civics-related topics as well as acting as liaison for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, a new program that elevates historically marginalized communities and works to make everyone feel welcome in Wilsonville.

Zoe married in 2021 and is now the proud mother of a baby boy. She acknowledges happily that seeing the community through the eyes of a parent has provided her the opportunity to discover an entirely new world and acquire a fresh perspective on a changing world.

With a multi-talented person like Zoe helping to manage so many essential aspects of our city, we are indeed fortunate to have someone with her talent, enthusiasm and stamina involved in keeping all the plates up in the air.