Rod Underhill has spent his professional career protecting the people of Multnomah County. A graduate of the University of Oregon law school, he originally wanted to become an FBI agent but decided against it when he found out the FBI would tell him where he had to live. Rod wasn’t willing to risk parting with the Northwest.
Rod first worked with The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office in 1987 after his second year of law school. He has served as a Deputy District Attorney for 25 years and as Chief Deputy for the last 5 years. He has been involved in prosecuting thousands of cases, and is best known for his tireless advocacy on behalf of domestic violence and child sexual abuse victims, combating gang violence and supporting crime victim’s rights.
As a prosecutor, Underhill won major cases against some of Oregon’s most violent gang members, drug dealers and killers including the killers of middle school student Melissa Bittler, YWCA employee Yolanda Panek and mother of four, Asia Bell. He has won awards and commendations from the Portland Police Bureau, the Oregon Department of Public Safety and Standards and the Oregon Domestic Violence Council. In 2010, Rod was honored by the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society as one of Oregon’s distinguished trial attorneys. He currently serves as Chair of the CARES NW Governing Board, Chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Bar-Press Broadcasters Council, is on the Executive Board of the Oregon District Attorney’s Association, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and a member of Multnomah County’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC). Rod is also a member of the Multnomah Bar Association Equality & Diversity Committee.
Rod is married to Dayna Underhill, who is also a Portland lawyer. They have three children.