Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler today selected his director of communications, Michael Cox, as his next chief of staff.

Maurice Henderson, the current chief of staff, is leaving to become the operating officer for TriMet.

"Michael has been a strong and trusted advisor to me for years," Wheeler said in a statement. "As my Chief of Staff, I expect him to foster positive relationships in the community, work productively with our colleagues on City Council, and leverage the tremendous talent we have on our team to move our policy agenda forward."

Cox has served as Wheeler's spokesperson since 2014, when the Mayor was then-State Treasurer. Cox has also formerly worked in communications roles with Cover Oregon, SEIU California and the Oregon House Democratic Caucus. He will take over the chief of staff position on July 7.