Anchorage School Board member named deputy commissioner in Dunleavy administration

Dave Donley, an Anchorage School Board member and former state legislator, has been named deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration.

Jonathan Quick, Department of Administration commissioner, appointed Donley to the position, according to Matt Shuckerow, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s press secretary. Alaska Public Media first reported the appointment on Wednesday. Donley’s first day was Jan. 2, Shuckerow said.

The Department of Administration provides state agencies with finance, personnel and labor relations services, among others. As deputy commissioner of the department, Donley will earn an annual salary of $157,000, Shuckerow said.

Dunleavy named Quick to the commissioner position in November.

Donley, 64, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. He hadn’t notified the Anchorage School Board office about any plans to step down, according to the board’s executive assistant Katy Grant. His three-year term ends in April 2020. Taking the new job doesn’t preclude Donley from serving on the school board, according to municipal code.

Donley is an attorney and lifelong Alaskan, according to information from the governor’s office. His new position as deputy commissioner is based in Anchorage.

Before joining the school board, Donley served in the state House of Representatives from 1987 to 1992 and then in the state Senate from 1993 to 2002. He switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1997, according to a Daily News report from the time.


Donley went on to work as the chief of adjudications and hearing officer at the state Division of Workers' Compensation, retiring in 2008, according to his school board bio. He later worked as a lobbyist for an Anchorage nonprofit. He’s an officer in the Alaska State Defense Force.

Anchorage voters elected Donley to the seven-member Anchorage School Board in April 2017. Board members are elected to the governing board of the state’s largest school district in municipality-wide, nonpartisan races. Current school board members earn $27,977 a year, while the board president earns $31,810. Those totals include a $6,500 medical allowance.

Donley attended the last school board meeting on Monday. He has a son who graduated from Service High School and twins who are enrolled in the Anchorage School District.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.