U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan announced the appointment of Chad Padgett as the new state director for his Alaska Senate office. Padgett replaces Renee Reeve, who stepped down earlier this year to become vice president of government and community relations for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Alaska.
“With nearly three decades spent working to improve the lives of everyday Alaskans, Chad Padgett has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities we have in Alaska,” Sullivan said. “Chad brings with him a wealth of experience serving on the front lines looking out for the best interests of our communities and he will be a welcome addition to my leadership team.”
Padgett comes to Senator Sullivan’s office from the Bureau of Land Management Alaska. He had been appointed by President Donald Trump, but recently was reassigned by the Biden Administration to work unrelated to Alaska.
As the career senior executive for BLM in Alaska, Padgett was responsible for the management of 72 million acres of federal lands in Alaska ranging from recreational lands to sole responsibility for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). He was instrumental in the approval of the Willow Project in the NPR-A and revisions to the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan, opening more lands for oil and gas development in the reserve.
Padgett also oversaw the implementation and eventual signing of leases under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for responsible oil and gas development on the Coastal Plain of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR); implementation of the Dingell Act which provided for land allotments of up to 160 acres to eligible Alaska Native veterans and their heirs; approval of access to the Ambler Mining District under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA); and recommendation to revoke 28 million acres of public land withdrawals in order to fulfill remaining entitlements of the State of Alaska and Alaska Native Corporations under the Statehood Act, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA) and the Alaska Land Transfer Acceleration Act, which were signed by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
Prior to joining BLM Alaska, Padgett spent 10 years as state director for the Office of Congressman Don Young.
“I am looking forward to serving the people of Alaska in my new role as Senator Sullivan’s state director,” Padgett said. “This is the perfect opportunity to work closer with Senator Sullivan on behalf of Alaska. I share his values and his desire to provide opportunities for all Alaskans and I am very excited to get started.”
Padgett first came to Alaska as a child with his mother who accepted a teaching position in Metlakatla. He graduated from Seward High School and attended Boise State University, earning a degree in political science and international relations before returning to Alaska in 1994.
Padgett’s first day with the office will be Sept. 7.