Tony Andersen has led strategic communication work in a variety of forestry and wildfire natural resource leadership roles during his more than 15-year career in public service and abroad. Prior to being appointed to Cal Fire as a deputy director and strategic communications advisor, Tony served as Strategic Communications Director for the State of Oregon where he oversaw external relations for Oregon’s unprecedented wildfire recovery effort following its devastating September 2020 wildfires—now recorded as the worst natural disaster in Oregon history.

Before this emergency response assignment, Andersen served as Strategic Communications Director for the Portland Water Bureau from 2018 to 2020 after returning from living abroad in Medellin, Colombia where he led marketing and public relations for a real estate startup company during the booming pre-pandemic tourism years in South America.

Andersen has also led environmental public health issues at the Oregon Health Authority, served as a public information officer and Public Affairs Director for the Oregon Department of Forestry where he led public affairs for Oregon’s second most severe fire season on record, and prior to this, served in the Oregon Governor’s Office during the 2013 legislative session. Other roles have included leading public opinion research and communication strategy for natural resource issues and policy work on natural areas and land-use at Metro, Portland’s regional government.

Andersen earned a Master of Science degree in Writing and Strategic Communications from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy and Management with concentrations in environmental policy and writing from the University of Oregon.