Alaska Congressional Delegation Announces Denali Commission Co-Chair

Jason Hoke Appointed to Lead Agency

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, today announced that Jason Hoke of Glennallen has been appointed by the Secretary of Commerce as the Denali Commission Federal Co-Chair. Hoke will replace John Torgerson who has been serving in the role of Interim Federal Co-Chair.

“The Denali Commission came to life under Senator Ted Stevens in 1998 and has since been a catalyst for much needed development across the state. Transportation facilities, clinics, fuel storage—the Commission plays a crucial role in the lives of Alaskans, particularly those in remote communities. And in recent years the Commission has added another important mission: assisting communities such as Shishmaref and Kivalina that are being harmed by coastal erosion,” said the Delegation. “Jason’s background in economic development makes him well-suited to take on his new role to lead the agency. We look forward to working with him in support of the Denali Commission’s goal of improving life in rural Alaska.”

Hoke’s previous work experience in Alaska includes serving as Programs Director for the Ahtna Inter-Tribal Resource Commission, overseeing Energy, Resource, and Biomass projects for Ahtna and its tribes. In addition, he worked as Executive Director for the Copper Valley Development Association, Inc. and served as Tribal Administrator for the Cheesh’Na Tribal Council.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming said of Mr. Hoke’s appointment, “I am looking forward to working with Mr. Hoke and continuing the Economic Development Administration’s partnership with the Denali Commission in bringing economic and infrastructure development to rural Alaska.”

Denali Commission Background: The Denali Commission was established by Congress in 1998 to fund economic development and infrastructure in rural Alaska and also serves as the lead agency to assist communities facing coastal erosion, flooding, and permafrost degradation threats. In the FY19 government funding bill, $15 million was allocated for the Commission to continue its critical mission of addressing infrastructure needs in rural Alaska.

Related Issues: Alaska Natives & Rural Alaska