New Public Defender: Samantha Cherot - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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New Public Defender: Samantha Cherot

Born and raised in Alaska, Samantha Cherot has been named Alaska Public Defender, filling the position vacated in April by Quinlan Steiner.

Cherot was selected from a list of three applicants provided to the Governor by the Alaska Judicial Council on Aug. 20, and will serve a term of four years. She must be confirmed by the Alaska Legislature.

“All three individuals put forward by the Council were highly qualified, but Samantha Cherot stood out as someone with the presence, skill set, and experience to excel in this position,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Not only was I impressed by her commitment to public service, but her focus and approach towards caseload management and prioritization. I congratulate Ms. Cherot on assuming the role of Public Defender and wish her all the best.”

Samantha Cherot has been an Alaska resident for 32 years, and has practiced law for nearly 12 years. She graduated from California Western School of Law in 2007, and most recently worked as an assistant public defender in Anchorage.

[Read Samantha Cherot’s biographical statement that accompanied her application.] 


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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.

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