Anchorage Mayor LaFrance announces 6 more executive appointments to her office

Anchorage Mayor Suzanne LaFrance on Wednesday announced six more executive appointments to the mayor’s office.

LaFrance took office on Monday.

Her appointments to the mayor’s office staff are:

• Barbara Jones, former longtime municipal clerk, will serve as LaFrance’s deputy chief of staff.

• Nolan Klouda is taking the role of policy director. Klouda has been the executive director of the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development for the last 10 years.

• Farina Brown will serve LaFrance as a special assistant in homelessness and health. Brown is leaving her role with the Rasmuson Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s homelessness initiatives as a program officer, according to LaFrance’s statement announcing appointments.

• Graham Downey has been appointed to be LaFrance’s special assistant in housing and transportation and joins the mayor’s office from the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, where he’s worked as its economic justice lead.


• Marie Husa is joining the mayor’s office in the role of constituent relations director. Husa comes from a job with the Bering Straits Native Corp., according to the statement.

• Amanda K. Moser, former executive director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, is serving as LaFrance’s external affairs director.

“Our team is oriented around a shared approach: Collaborative problem solving, with a focus on serving the people of Anchorage,” LaFrance said in a statement. “Each of these individuals brings deep expertise and a deep commitment to our community.”

Jones retired from the municipal clerk’s office in 2023 after 11 years in that role. She previously worked as the municipal ombudsman and spent six years as the executive director of the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, which investigates cases involving discrimination and harassment in the municipality.

After retiring, Jones worked in a paid position for LaFrance’s campaign as a volunteer coordinator.

Klouda, who has worked for the university for more than 14 years, will help direct a team of the mayor’s staff to implement the administration’s priorities, according to LaFrance’s statement.

Recently, Klouda has advocated for the city to reform zoning and land use regulations as a way to address Anchorage’s housing shortage. In his role at the university, he performed the economic analysis for a recent sales tax proposal from the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

As special assistant in homelessness and health, Brown will “work to advance key administration priorities to address homelessness and promote community health and safety.”

Brown previously served as the deputy director of Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health before taking a job with the Rasmuson Foundation in 2023, according to the foundation’s bio page.

Downey, as special assistant in housing and transportation, will work to advance LaFrance’s priorities in housing, transportation and community development, according to the statement. At the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, he’s focused on housing, debt and economic issues affecting working families, the statement said.

Husa has previously worked for the municipality, spending six years as an investigator for the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission. In her new role as constituent relations director, she will “work to ensure Anchorage residents of all backgrounds have a direct line of communication with the Mayor’s Office,” according to the statement.

Moser, who will oversee mayor’s office communications, held a similar role as communications director in the administration of former Gov. Bill Walker. She’s also worked as Anchorage’s deputy municipal clerk, where she managed the city’s elections and helped lead the transition to the current vote-by-mail system.

Moser started working as executive director at the downtown partnership in 2019, then left the organization in 2022 for a chief strategy officer position with pro-ranked-choice voting group Alaskans For Better Elections, where she focused on the state’s transition to its new ranked-choice voting system.

LaFrance has made several other executive appointments over the last month. Those include Katie Scovic as chief of staff and Becky Windt Pearson as municipal manager; Eva Gardner as municipal attorney and Bill Falsey as chief administrative officer; and Sean Case as chief of the Anchorage Police Department.

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at