Jeff Golden attended Harvard University as a National Scholar during the height of the Vietnam War and decided to swap the Ivy Halls for 20 acres in the backwoods of Oregon and a used chainsaw. He chronicled that journey in the book Watermelon Summer (Lippincott & Co, 1971). After a decade building homes, guiding whitewater river trips, and working in the forests of the Cascade Mountains, Jeff dropped back in to earn a Masters in Communications degree from Stanford University.
He has spent the last 35 years in politics, broadcasting and editorial journalism and organizational consulting. His political career includes service as a Jackson County Commissioner, Chief of Staff to the Oregon Senate President, and Environmental Policy aide to the City of Portland. During those years he wrote Forest Blood (Wellstone Books, 1998), the pre-eminent novel of the Northwest timber wars. His stand for responsible forest practices made him the target of an unsuccessful recall campaign financed by national timber corporations, and earned him the first nomination ever from the state of Oregon for the JFK Profile in Courage Award, which partly sparked his newest book, UNAFRAID: A Novel of the Possible. He hosted The Jefferson Exchange, a popular daily NPR talk-show on a network of northwest stations, and created the public television series Immense Possibilities, now airing on some 25 PBS stations around the country. In November 2018, he was elected to the Oregon State Senate.
Jeff lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife, Human and Social Services Administrator Sarah Collard. He makes a decent effort at staying balanced with cycling, rafting, music, acting and unpredictable adventures with his grown son and daughter.