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Board chair of Permanent Fund Corp answers questions posed by legislative committee concerning firing of CEO

The Jan. 13, 2022 letter written by Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board Chairman Craig Richards in response to questions by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee concerning the firing of CEO Angela Rodell says Rodell’s firing was not political but was a result of job performance reviews that included surveys of employees of the agency:

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. I’m curious why it took this long for a formal response. Is this length of time common in this world?

  2. I note that Natasha Von Imhof, who wants to be Governor, is leading this charge to make the separation political. It is not the purpose of the legislature, or one legislator, to get into the business of hiring or firing employees.

  3. Thank you for presenting this letter from Craig Richards, Chair of the APFC. It appears there was an attempt to work with Angella Rodell to improve her negative scores after her yearly performance evaluations, but she declined. Arrogance can carry you just so far. Having worked with her in Juneau, she carried a political grudge that was not becoming of a CEO. Again kudos to Craig Richards and APFC.

    • Exactly! Unfortunately, now that the legislators have gotten involved (and truly made it “political”), she now cries foul to the media and apparently is considering a potential lawsuit? How much will this unnecessary meddling cost the State of Alaska??? Every EXEMPT employee knows the rules of engagement so quit the crying already! Leave Dunleavy out of this! And let the APFC and Trustees focus their energies on the real work of managing our precious Fund.

  4. Ms. Rodell has publicly claimed that she was terminated for political reasons. Mr. Richards claims that she was terminated for reasons other than political. I would certainly describe Mr. Richard’s letter to Senator von Imhof as a political document addressed to an elected political leader and sent for political reasons, and I have to note that it was excellently drafted, provided excellent political cover for the termination, but provided no public disclosure of the specific reason(s) for the termination. I wonder if Ms. Rodell has been extended an invitation to address the issue with the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee?

    • I agree with you, Reggie. This lengthy letter reads like a carefully crafted “hatchet job”. I would expect no less from attorney Craig Richards. It obviously took a lot of the time. Did he charge his hourly rate for his time? I welcome the opportunity to read the response that Ms. Rodell and her attorney(s) would submit.

      P.S. What was the return rate on the survey instruments to which he refers?

  5. We need to get to the bottom of this. Who’s who and what side are they on. I will speculate and say this is political as there has been much infighting on what industries to invest in and which ones to drop. There has been pressure here from left wing political groups to drop all petroleum companies and other industries that don’t meet “woke” standards. Just a thought here.

  6. so…. my take on the info from this article is that Ms Rodell’s conduct was reviewed by MANY different means and Ms Rodell apparently did not wish to respond to the findings. At no point in this letter did it say Ms Rodell did not do her job as stated in the personnel or policy manual… In fact it says it was a “Best Place to Work” atmosphere. We are, by this letter, reminded that her position is an “at will” employment and she can be released for any reason or no reason. hmmmm…. Then, the letter goes on to explain that the goal of the APFC is to bring in high dividends from the Fund; they went on to brag about how well the fund has done; that the work and synergy of all at APFC has performed beyond expectations [during Ms Rodell’s tenure]! The APFC got an award for Best Place to Work! “While the official announcement of the APFC WINNING Pensions & Investments Best
    Places to work was embargoed until 12/13/2021, the Board of Trustees was confidentially
    informed of the award as part of the Executive Director review process.” Who embargoed it? Something fishy is going on here! This sounds like drama, personality clashes, and the power plays of immature people. Separate source – Ms Rodell says she was let go for Political Reasons and here’s a clue why “She and Dunleavy clashed over spending from the earnings of the nest-egg Alaska Permanent Fund. Earnings traditionally have been used for the annual checks residents receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund, but lawmakers in 2018 began tapping them to help pay for government.” Bingo!!

  7. This is a no-brainer. Rodell was setting-up her political position via the Permanent Fund. She’s backing Walker for governor. The Board members wanted no politics in running the fund. That’s not her job. She was influencing outside the scope of her employment on payroll time. The Board made the correct decision.

  8. Very Typical Bureaucratic Process & Evaluation SIDE STEPPING RESPONSE!

    Have we all witnessed this over & over again ? BLAH ,BLAH , BLAH.

    This is the downside to lofty Appointed Positions without Public Official Bonds nailing down Malfeasance or Misfeasance accountability.
    Please Alaskans demand new Law to make them all accountable to the People of the STATE!

    Pass a Public Official Bond Requirement for them all, Elected & Appointed Officials Serving this GREAT STATE !

  9. There may be much going on here that may never be known to the public. That said, Ms Rodell’s attitude feels a bit like that of James Comey, who, as we have learned, thought he had a “higher duty” than the one owed to the authority that hired him. In my experience, appointed officials that fail to remember that serving in their high position is a privilege – not a right – are folks that should no longer serve in high office.

    At the end of the day, Ms. Rodell was an employee who apparently forgot who she worked for. Authority to govern the Permanent Fund is assigned by law to the Board. If the Legislature does not like that, they can change the law. I expect that such changes may not get very far.

  10. I suspect that Ms Rodell was trying to follow the law regarding use of the Funds and would not bend to the Gov Admin to commit theft of funds for unlawful use. She was protecting the People’s dividend!! Prove me wrong.

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