Dunleavy appoints new commissioner to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Gov. Mike Dunleavy named Emma Pokon the commissioner-designee for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday. Pokon has served as acting commissioner since August, when Jason Brune stepped down.

In a news release, Dunleavy said Pokon’s leadership has his full confidence.

“She has shown an immense amount of knowledge and prioritizes common-sense solutions that balance environmental protection with economic considerations,” he said.

Pokon worked in the state’s Department of Law, most recently as the senior assistant attorney general supporting the Department of Environmental Conservation, prior to joining DEC in 2020. She was the North Slope Borough’s assistant attorney and has been a law clerk for the Fairbanks Superior Court.

She received her master’s degree in environmental law and her law degree from Vermont Law and Graduate School.

“In my almost four years with the agency, I’ve witnessed the value of DEC’s work to our state and residents,” Pokon said in the news release. “I’m honored to continue working with the many dedicated public servants at DEC to protect human health and the wellbeing of Alaskans.”

The Alaska Legislature will vote to confirm Pokon in its next session.

Originally published by the Alaska Beacon, an independent, nonpartisan news organization that covers Alaska state government.