PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Timbers and Thorns on Wednesday announced Heather Davis as chief executive officer, making her the club’s first-ever woman CEO.

Davis, a fourth-generation Oregonian, served as the club’s general counsel prior to being promoted to CEO.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support of our staff and for the confidence that Merritt has shown in me to lead this club,” said Davis. “It is an extraordinary privilege to be entrusted to lead such a storied and successful franchise that means so much to so many in my home state. We will continue to do the work to be a first-in-class club that everyone can be proud of.”

Although Davis has only been with the team since May 2022, former CEO Merritt Paulson called her “remarkable.”

“She joined us during a challenging period and has overseen significant positive change for the club,” said Paulson. “We had tremendous external interest in this position, but Heather has earned the trust of our staff and I could not be more pleased to remove ‘Interim’ from her title. She will be an outstanding leader for our organization.”

Before coming to the soccer world, Davis served as the lead counsel for the NFL. She also worked for major law firms on the east coast, as well as in the Office of Senator Hillary Clinton and the White House during Bill Clinton’s administration.

Paulson stepped down as the CEO in October and announced his decision to sell the Portland Thorns FC in December. The announcements came amid investigations of misconduct.