Tom Stokes named director Division of Oil and Gas - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Tom Stokes named director Division of Oil and Gas


Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige confirmed her appointment of Tom Stokes as director of the Division of Oil and Gas on Tuesday, following two months during which he served as acting director.

As director, Stokes supervises exploration licensing, lease sales, unit management, permitting, royalty accounting, royalty audit, resource evaluation, commercial activities, and the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Section. His division employs approximately 99 people.

Before stepping into the director’s role, Stokes served the department as the State Pipeline Coordinator. He had previously worked 28 years at Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. in support, compliance, and operational assignments, including director of the Valdez Marine Terminal, and director of compliance.

“Tom brings an impressive combination of oil and gas industry and management experience that will serve the division and department well,” said Feige. “He’s stepping into busy and exciting times at the Division of Oil & Gas, and we look forward to continuing to support him and the dedicated and talented work force that makes this division such a tremendous asset to the state.”

Stokes earned a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California and and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

The Division of Oil and Gas manages state lands for oil, gas, and geothermal exploration and development in a fair and transparent manner to maximize prudent use of resources for the greatest benefit of all Alaskans. The division has been led by acting directors since the departure of Chantel Walsh in March. Walsh, hired by Gov. Bill Walker in 2016, went on to sign the petition to recall Gov. Michael Dunleavy.

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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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