State’s ‘change agent’ has best temp job ever: Drive awareness



Must Read Alaska asked the State of Alaska for details about the hiring of the Innovation Stakeholder Change Manager. Here are the answers provided to our request about the circumstances surrounding the hiring of the former executive director of the Marquette, Michigan Chamber of Commerce to drive systemic change in the bureaucracy of the State of Alaska:

Jason Schneider was hired May 11, 2018. However, he had resigned his job in Marquette, Michigan in February and told reporters he was not able to discuss his new position that he had accepted out of state. His official start date, however, was in May.

Schneider was hired by the Chief Information Officer, Bill Vajda, in the Office of Information Technology, which is in the Department of Administration. The governor’s Chief of Staff Scott Kendall approved the hire.

Schneider reports to Ryan Mitchell-Colgan in the Office of Information Technology.

According to the state, his position is temporary and exempt and thus was not required to be posted. He earns $95,420 a year at Range 21C. From his own social media postings, the job description was still being negotiated in March.

Vajda, who hired him, is the former city manager for Marquette, Michigan. Vajda is the State of Alaska’s first Chief Information Officer, in charge of consolidating the state’s information technology functions into a single entity.

Schneider’s job description currently reads:

“The Innovation Stakeholder Change Manager position works under the Portfolio, Planning and Policy (P3) section and will focus on stakeholder change management across all agencies, promoting innovation. The goal is new and improved communications, metrics, business models and/or processes. P3’s focus is to prepare the critical infrastructure and mapping for OIT, creating and implementing organizational goals. The position will work with the Chief Technology Officers on technology requirements and work with stakeholders to drive awareness, proficiency and adoption of innovation processes and platforms. The position is critical to OIT to meet its goals of operational performance and management and implementation of service levels commitments and key performance indicators.”

Shhh! Governor hires ‘Innovation Stakeholder Change Manager’ in secret


In 2016, Gov. Bill Walker instituted a hiring and travel freeze, but that was quietly forgotten after a few months. Three years after he took office, Walker still has a $700 million annual deficit, balanced  with money was used from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. In addition to hiring a Senior Climate Change Advisor, he has beefed up the Department of Health and Social Services due to the crush of applicants that have swamped the department since he expanded Medicaid to able-bodied adults of working age.

Today, there are 220 jobs advertised with the State of Alaska.


  1. Maybe beginning an effort to force mail-in voting statewide, without legislative or voter involvement…

  2. Not sure if anyone paid attention….but the new state worker’s Supervisor’s Union contract will go into effect on July 1st. While the union and state can both claim that no cost of living or salary increases were given the now contract stipulates that the work days for union members are increased by a half hour per day….this, in turn, equates to 6.67% pay increase. Hmmmmm…most of the workers are okay with the longer workday (hey, it was only 7.5 hours per day under the old contract), but a few question why the union and the state just didn’t leave things as they were given the fiscal status of Alaska.

    I am unsure of the other state union contracts, but will poke around…

    • “the new state worker’s Supervisor’s Union contract”
      Missed that one!
      In other words, one government employees’ union “supervises” another?

  3. “Here’s $95 grand, see if you can find something to do”

    “hey! gee, thanks!, how’s the fishing?”

  4. Oh boy, a non-competitive hire @ $95K… and worked for his Alaska supervisor at another job in Michigan – and what does the AKISCM do? He gets to “research” new information systems – he PLAYS on new computers and stares out the window. There’s more to this story, and likely a personal relationship. How does the State get away with non-comp hiring a position that pays that much? – And with a very ill-defined job description?

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