Jim Beckham, deputy director at the State’s Division of Oil and Gas, has been named acting director after the planned departure of Chantel Walsh on March 1. The Department of Natural Resources will recruit and hire a new division director in the weeks ahead.
Walsh left to return to the consulting business she has with her husband.
Beckham is a graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor of science degree in Marine Science. In his Coast Guard career, he worked in drug interdiction, search and rescue, communications, and aid to navigation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with an assignment to the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm.
He served aboard four buoy tenders, closing his Coast Guard career as a commanding officer assigned to Cordova.
For nearly a decade, he was harbormaster for the City of Seward. He left public service to become vice president of operations at Harbor Enterprises Inc, one of the largest privately owned fuel distribution companies in Alaska, where he was responsible for shore facilities, marine operations and regulatory compliance from Ketchikan to Kodiak and the Yukon Territory.
Beckham managed planning and support services for the startup of the non-profit Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network and served on the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council’s Port Operations & Vessel Traffic Systems committee. He was on the Cordova Planning Commission and is on the University of Alaska Fairbanks Petroleum Engineering Department’s Industry Advisory Board.