MacKinnon named commissioner of Transportation - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 26, 2021
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MacKinnon named commissioner of Transportation

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A former acting commissioner of Transportation and Public Facilities is returning as the department’s commissioner in the Dunleavy Administration.

John MacKinnon, the executive director of the Associated General Contractors, will lead DOT&PF after 10 years at the helm of AGC, a well-known trade organization for commercial construction companies.

Born and raised in Juneau from a historic family of business owners that dates back to the Gold Rush era of the 1880s, MacKinnon graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1970 and earned his bachelor’s degree in marine biology at Western Washington University in Bellingham. His first job out of college was as a biologist at the Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau.

Later, he founded RMC Inc., a commercial construction firm in Juneau that he ran with his two partners for 24 years. He served four terms on the City Assembly, where he was finally term-limited. During the time, he served as deputy mayor when Dennis Egan was mayor, and previously had been on the City and Borough of Juneau Design Review Board and the Planning Commission.

John MacKinnon answers questions from the media during the announcement that he will be the new commissioner of DOT, while Sen. Shelley Hughes and Rep. Cathy Tilton look on.

He was also interim city manager of Juneau for several months, before being tapped to serve in the Department of Transportation under Gov. Frank Murkowski.

In 2006, he was named DOT&PF acting commissioner in Sarah Palin’s administration, but two years later left to run the construction trade organization.

Known to colleagues as intelligent, practical, and plain-spoken, MacKinnon is married to retiring Sen. Anna MacKinnon (formerly Fairclough).

He serves on board of the Denali Commission and the Resource Development Council of Alaska.

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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.

Latest comments

  • And John is a good guy and a fierce advocate for getting things done. A fine choice.

  • More great news from the Dunleavy Administration.

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