Alaska News

APU President Valerie Davidson named interim head of Alaska’s largest tribal health organization

Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, Alaska’s former health commissioner and the first Alaska Native woman to serve as lieutenant governor, is the new interim president of the state’s largest tribal health organization.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium made the announcement late Friday.

Davidson replaces Andy Teuber, who served for more than a decade as consortium president and CEO before abruptly resigning on Feb. 23. His resignation came shortly after a former consortium employee accused him, in a letter to the organization’s board of directors, of abusive behavior, harassment and coerced sexual encounters.

Teuber went missing and was presumed dead after his helicopter crashed a week later near the Barrier Islands between the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak.

Davidson, currently president of Alaska Pacific University, is taking a leave of absence while she leads the consortium, the organization said.

Davidson previously led the tribal health consortium’s legal and intergovernmental affairs team for several years, and worked on other tribal health issues, including dental care.

“ANTHC is pleased to welcome her back at this critical juncture in our organization’s development,” said the statement, which made no reference to Teuber or his resignation. “We are so grateful to every team member of ANTHC’s work force for their continued dedication to our vision and mission.”


Garvin Federenko, who had been serving as acting president of the organization, will remain chief executive officer, the statement said.

Teuber was paid a salary of more than $1 million per year to oversee the consortium, which describes itself as the largest tribal health organization in the country, serving more than 170,000 Alaska Native people in communities statewide. The consortium, along with other tribal health entities, earned national recognition recently for their fast-paced COVID-19 vaccinations in Alaska.

Davidson, who is Yup’ik, was born in Bethel and also attended school in Aniak. In March 2020, she was named president of APU, where she became the first woman to hold that position.

Davidson served as former Gov. Bill Walker’s commissioner of health and social services from 2014 until 2018.

Walker called Davidson the most foremost expert on Medicaid in Alaska when he named her as commissioner. She played a vital role in the governor’s decision to expand Medicaid in 2015, arguing the move meant broader health care services for Alaskans, including Alaska Natives.

She was the first Alaska Native woman to serve as the state’s lieutenant governor, a position she held for a few months in late 2018. Davidson replaced the late Byron Mallott, who resigned from the post and stepped down from the Walker-Mallott reelection campaign after he made “inappropriate comments” to a woman. Details of Mallott’s conduct were disclosed last summer.

Teuber resigned in late February after a former assistant detailed claims of sexual misconduct against him in a letter to the consortium’s board of directors. The crash of his helicopter, in which he was the only occupant, occurred as the Anchorage Daily News prepared to publish a story detailing the woman’s accusations.

Teuber also stepped down from the University of Alaska Board of Regents and the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors.

Teuber was flying from Merrill Field in Anchorage to Kodiak when his signal was lost over the Gulf of Alaska on the afternoon of March 2. Searchers did not find him or his helicopter, though the Coast Guard spotted a float that matched the equipment aboard the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

[Read the announcement:]

Zaz Hollander

Zaz Hollander is a veteran journalist based in the Mat-Su and is currently an ADN local news editor and reporter. She covers breaking news, the Mat-Su region, aviation and general assignments. Contact her at