(Sen. John Torgerson, Northern Gas Pipelines photo by Dave Harbour)
Alaska’s congressional delegation today announced that former State Sen. John Torgerson of Soldotna will serve the Denali Commission as the Interim Federal Co-Chair. The position is the person who runs day-to-day operations.
The appointment comes following a letter the delegation sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, requesting an interim federal co-chair as the Trump Administration vets candidates to fill the vacancy left by Joel Neimeyer, whose resignation took effect April 20.
“The Denali Commission plays a crucial role in the lives of Alaskans – especially to the health and economic development for those living in rural Alaska. John Torgerson’s vast experience in rural transportation and infrastructure, coupled with his wealth of knowledge in government small business, and budgeting will enable him to effectively meet the needs of the Denali Commission and the Department of Commerce,” said the letter from the Alaska delegation. “We have the utmost confidence that John will be a great fit to assist the Denali Commission during this time of transition as it continues its important mission of improving life in rural Alaska.”
For more information about Torgerson and the process for selecting a new Denali Commission Federal Co-Chair, view the letter sent by the delegation to Secretary Ross here.
The commission was established by Congress in 1998 to fund economic development and infrastructure in rural Alaska and also serves as the lead agency to assist communities facing coastal erosion, flooding, and permafrost degradation threats. In the FY18 government funding bill, $30 million was allocated for the Commission to continue its critical mission of addressing infrastructure needs in rural Alaska.
Torgerson was elected to the State Senate in 1994 and 1998. Born in 1947, he has been a resident of Alaska since 1950.