Former Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson stepped down from the presidency of Alaska Pacific University and to be the permanent president of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, where she has been filling in as interim president since mid-March, when former President Andy Teuber died in a helicopter crash near Kodiak.
Davidson has been on a leave of absence from the Anchorage-based university, where Dr. Hilton Hallock will continue to serve as interim president as a search is launched to hire a president.
“Working with the ANTHC team over the last few months has reinforced my belief that people can do the most amazing things under the most challenging conditions as long as we have the right reasons. Children, families, and communities are always the right reasons. I’m honored to advance the board’s vision and support the incredible ANTHC team in this important work on behalf of our children, families, and tribal communities,” Davidson said.”
Davidson previously served at ANTHC as senior director of legal and intergovernmental affairs.
Davidson is Yup’ik and an enrolled tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council. In 2018, she became the first Alaska Native woman to serve as lieutenant governor, after Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned in a scandal-laced final episode of Gov. Bill Walker’s term in office.
While in the Walker Administration, she was a key advocate for the expansion of Medicaid across Alaska, which has since brought millions of dollars monthly to Alaska Native health organizations.