CORVALLIS, Ore. - Leslie Burns, chair of Oregon State University's Department of Design & Human Environment, has been named to the board of directors for the Portland Center for Design and Innovation.

The Portland Center for Design and Innovation, Inc., (PCDI), has been identified as a catalytic initiative in the City of Portland's Economic Development Strategy.

Burns is a leading researcher in the field of apparel design and the fashion industry. She has led OSU's Department of Design & Human Environment, which boasts more than 700 design and apparel majors, since 2004.

"With more than 11,000 graduates employed in the Portland area and alums working in all of Oregon's major apparel companies, OSU is poised to be a great partner in implementing the goals of the Portland Center for Design and Innovation," Burns said. "We bring ready-to-work graduates into the apparel industry, and our faculty and students understand the industry's needs, both from the business and creative aspect."

The formation of the PCDI is a significant milestone for the city's strategic support of Portland's active wear and design industry - an initiative that also includes the creation of an online industry directory launched in April and a genealogy map slated for release this fall. This map will show the evolution of the industry in Portland and Oregon, and track the connections among the region's long-established companies and more recent arrivals and spin-offs.

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Leslie Burns, 541-737-0983