Alaska News

Second official steps down from Walker cabinet on Thursday

In an big day of change in Gov. Bill Walker's Cabinet, the governor's office said for a second time on Thursday a top administrator is leaving, though it also named a new commissioner.

Department of Natural Resources Acting Commissioner Marty Rutherford is retiring June 30, though she will become a trustee of the Permanent Fund Corp. Board on July 1.

Walker has selected Andy Mack as the new DNR commissioner.

Earlier Thursday, Walker said he had accepted the resignation of Attorney General Craig Richards. Richards' last day is Thursday. Richards will no longer serve on the Permanent Fund Corp. Board.

[Alaska attorney general resigns, cites personal reasons]

"Alaska is fortunate to have someone of Marty's experience and caliber on one of the state's most important boards," Walker said. "For nearly 30 years, Marty has helmed various important projects, including the gas line. Her knowledge of various topics and inimitable ability to connect with anyone she meets has inspired the utmost respect of people statewide — from the Legislature to the industry."

Mack fills the spot left by Mark Myers, who retired as DNR commissioner in February.

"I am pleased Andy has accepted this position, given his vast experience in oil and gas issues," Walker said. "As we look for more oil and gas exploration and development opportunities, Andy has the vision and passion Alaska needs to aggressively chart our own path. I am grateful to Marty, who has led the department seamlessly these past four months. Alaskans owe Marty a debt of gratitude for her nearly three decades of government service."

Mack is a managing director of Pt Capital, a private equity fund based in Alaska. Alaska Dispatch News publisher and owner Alice Rogoff is a senior adviser to the group, an unpaid position, according to Hugh Short, the chief executive and co-founder of the group.

"Born and raised in Soldotna, Mr. Mack brings over a decade of experience in Arctic policy and development," the governor's office said. "He currently serves as an adviser to multiple Alaska Native corporations engaged in oil and gas activities on the North Slope. In this role, he helped guide the regulatory drafting and implementation applied to drilling efforts in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas."

Mack has also worked as a civil and criminal defense attorney and legislative assistant, the statement said, and holds a bachelor's degree from Concordia College at Moorhead, Minnesota, and a law degree from Loyola Law School, a private Catholic institution in Los Angeles. He also served on the board of directors for the Resource Development Council for Alaska.

Walker appointed Rutherford to a seat on the Permanent Fund board reserved for a member of the public. She will replace outgoing trustee Gary Dalton. Walker thanked Dalton for "his exemplary commitment" over the past four years, a statement said.

Public members serve four-year terms. They are paid a $400 honorarium, plus standard travel and per diem, for each day they work for the board, the statement said.