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Palin names Daniel Sullivan new AG

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: July 5, 2016
  • Published June 16, 2009

From a state press release: Governor Sarah Palin today announced the appointment of Alaska attorney and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel S. Sullivan to serve as Alaska's Attorney General.

"Dan Sullivan brings to the attorney general position a broad array of expertise, experience, and judgment that will significantly benefit Alaska," Governor Palin said. "He has a strong Alaska legal background and public service record in the state. His leadership and negotiating achievements at the highest levels of the U.S. government, including on issues of vital importance to the State of Alaska, will help ensure that the interests of Alaska and our citizens are advanced and safeguarded.

"His recent work in Washington on issues including the Alaska natural gas pipeline, Arctic policy, Law of the Sea, and opening aviation markets overseas has already benefited Alaska."

"I am deeply honored to be selected by Governor Palin as Alaska's next attorney general," Sullivan said. "It is a privilege to serve this great state and its citizens. I will work tirelessly with the governor and the members of the Legislature to continue to emphasize integrity throughout Alaska's legal system, as well as justice and economic opportunities for all of Alaska's citizens."

Sullivan is one of a select number of Alaska attorneys who has held judicial clerkships on both the highest state and highest federal courts in Alaska. He served as a judicial law clerk for Chief Justice Warren Matthews of the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage and for Judge Andrew Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fairbanks. He also served briefly as an appellate court staff attorney for the Alaska Court of Appeals, which focuses on criminal cases.

"Alaska is fortunate to have a fair, well-run legal system supported by outstanding judges and dedicated public servants," Sullivan said. "I look forward to working with them, especially the officials of the Department of Law.

"Our state faces many challenges and opportunities," he said. "We must reduce crime at home, ensure integrity in our public process, realize our rights as a state in the federal system, get our gas to market, and produce energy. As an Alaska lawyer, Marine, and diplomat, I am ready to use whatever skills and tools are appropriate and necessary to help Alaska achieve success."

After his Alaska state and federal judicial clerkships, Sullivan practiced corporate law and commercial litigation in Anchorage with Perkins, Coie, LLP. In July 2002, Sullivan left private practice in Anchorage to serve his country in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, as a director on the National Security Council and National Economic Council of the White House. He began this position after being awarded a prestigious White House Fellowship - one of only three Alaskans to have been selected for this honor.

In 2006, Sullivan was nominated by the president and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the assistant secretary of state for economic, energy, and business affairs. In that capacity, he served as a senior advisor to the secretary of state and other top U.S. government officials on the formulation and execution of economic, energy, trade, finance, transportation, telecommunications, and Arctic policies.

Sullivan led and managed the State Department Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs with approximately 200 federal employees and was responsible for leading and overseeing several international negotiations of strategic importance to the United States. As assistant secretary of state, Sullivan focused on international energy issues, including working with the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects. Sullivan also served as the U.S. Governing Board member to the Paris-based International Energy Agency - the world's premier energy security organization.

"Dan's extensive knowledge of global energy issues will help Alaska fulfill its potential as a critical source of America's energy security while also lowering energy costs for Alaskans," Governor Palin said. "I am pleased that he will continue his distinguished record of public service as Alaska's attorney general." A Marine Corps infantry and reconnaissance officer, Sullivan served for several years with Anchorage-based Echo Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion - the Marine Corps Reserve's premier cold weather reconnaissance unit. While working at the White House, he was recalled from the reserves to active duty service from December 2004 until April 2006 and served as a strategic advisor to the commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), spending substantial time deployed in the CENTCOM theater of operations. He is currently a member of the Marine Corps' Individual Ready Reserve.

Sullivan has been a member of the Alaska Bar Association since 2000. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, earning a bachelor's degree in economics, and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, obtaining a juris joctor and master's of science in foreign service joint degree. He was an Articles Editor on the Georgetown Law Journal and a contributing author to the Georgetown Criminal Procedure Project. He is the recipient of numerous professional, academic, and military awards.

Sullivan has been married for almost 15 years to Julie Fate Sullivan of Fairbanks. Julie is the daughter of former Representative Bud Fate and Mary Jane Fate. The Sullivans have three daughters.