Deven Mitchell, acting commissioner of Revenue, named new president of Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Board of Trustees has chosen longtime Alaskan Deven Mitchell to lead the corporation as the new president. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation has been without a president since the trustees fired Angela Rodell last December.

With Mitchell, the trustees have found someone who has a remarkable record of good relationships throughout government, including the Alaska Legislature, where he has testified many times on the state’s various financial portfolios.

In September, Mitchell was named by Gov. Mike Dunleavy as the acting commissioner for the Department of Revenue, to fill in for Lucinda Mahoney, who retired for health reasons.

Mitchell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to APFC, the trustees said. He has extensive experience with financial securities and working for the Alaska Department of Revenue since 1992. His service as Alaska’s debt manager as well as executive director and treasurer of the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority, a public corporation of the State, provides a solid foundation of fiduciary duty.

As acting commissioner of Revenue and a serving trustee of the corporation, Deven declared his candidacy during the annual meeting and was excused from the board’s selection process. It is also important to note that he applied for this position in late July, well before being appointed the Acting Commissioner of Revenue.

The APFC Board of Trustees made the selection at a public meeting on Oct. 3 in Juneau and via teleconference. The selection is contingent on the successful negotiation of a salary and benefits package, and a start date is yet to be determined. Mitchell resides in Juneau, where he and his wife Erin raised their two sons.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Be on guard with the legislature. They have the PFD. Now they will go for the whole Fund itself.

    Von Imhof has said the quiet part out loud. Perhaps from a sense of greed and entitlement, but she said it anyway.

    Sadly, every aspect of our state government is corrupt. Without a Constitutional Convention I don’t see how we can fix it.

      • Changing the Constitution is the one piece of control still left to the citizens.

        Only people willing to take great risk earn great rewards. Sheep claim “manipulation”. This attitude is why Alaska will never come close to it’s potential.

        What good, EXACTLY, is a forensic accountant in a system where the people involved can say, “thanks, no”?

        What in the past 10 years has given any rational person any reason to think the most corrupt state in America will abide by their findings? Especially when they get to hire the firm?

        It’s like asking Porcaro to speak against RVC while taking money from Bill Walker’s minions to make it happen.

        With a Constitutional Convention we can make sure the Legislature can’t get their hands on the Perm Fund and require and independent forensic audit every 5 years.

        But to some people allowing the citizens a direct voice in the rules that run the state is “manipulative”. To others, it’s common sense.

        Common sense sadly is uncommon.

  2. The selection of Mitchell to be the Executive Director of Alaksa’s Permanent Fund serves as a warning for what is likely to happen to your Permanent Fund.
    Devin Mitchell was part and parcel of the scheme to borrow a billion dollars and then use those funds to pay off the outstanding oil & gas exploration tax credits under the Walker Administration. This was the cash-for-credit boondoggle that attempted to use borrowed money via a big bond float to pay off exploration tax credits that were not debt.
    Mitchell was part of the crew that drifted through the Alaska Legislature promoting this borrowing scheme. As a result of the work by Walker, Mitchell and others, the legislature passed a statute authorizing the billion buck borrowing scheme. Eventually the Alaska Supreme Court ruled the entire scheme was “unconstitutional in its entirety.”
    So now we have a guy who has mucked around with agencies like the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and Export Authority, promoted unconstitutional borrowing schemes and hung around as a useful tool for whatever politician is in power tagged to serve as the Executive Director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. What could possibly go wrong?
    When asked during the interview process about investment strategy for the Permanent Fund, Mitchell is reported to have told the Permanent Fund Corporation trustees that he would support the investment strategy recommended by the corporation’s professional advisors unless the Board trustees had a different viewpoint. Mitchell indicated the trustees were “the boss.”
    It doesn’t take much thought to see how this is coming done. Investment of the funds belonging to the citizens of Alaska harbored in the Permanent Fund are now subject to political decision making. The prospect of investing the Permanent Fund based on conservative principles according to the prudent investor standards are at risk. It’s only a matter of time before the Permanent Fund will start getting invested in or leveraged to support sub-optimal projects like the Pebble Mine, roads for Outside corporations and other so-called “investments favored by politicians and their pals. Market based investment will get tossed aside in favor of putting public money behind or into special projects for those who have political connections.
    Alaska’s Permanent Fund is poised to start the steady downhill decline similar to the Alberta Heritage Fund and other savings accounts that used political criteria for investing compared to genuine market-based strategies.
    The best and perhaps only way to prevent this impending disaster is for the Alaska Legislature to enact a rigorous market-based investment standard and reform the manner by which trustees to the Permanent Fund Corporation are appointed to ensure the Permanent Fund is governed by sober, objective minded individuals who place the public interest above partisan or political objectives.
    Whether the Alaska Legislature will act to protect the funds in the Permanent Fund from the raid by narrow interests that is increasingly apparent is anyone’s guess.
    The one thing that is certain is that without support for protection by a large number of Alaskans, the demise of the Permanent Fund is inevitable. The individuals and entities who have long sought to gain access to the Permanent Fund have been maneuvering for years to gain control of the funds. Their efforts to gain control are nearly complete. The individual and entities that want to put the grab on the citizen’s Permanent Fund are on the cusp of completing the money grab. The big remaining question is what are we Alaskans going to do about it?

  3. Joe: After reading your Most Excellent Comment, I wish you where President of the APFD Board. After reading your comment I will be voting for the Constitutional Convention.

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