The Denali Commission has a new leader.
The U.S. secretary of commerce has appointed Jason Hoke of Glennallen to be the commission’s federal co-chair. That’s the person in charge of day-to-day operations for the Commission and the only one who can authorize spending.
Alaska’s three-person congressional delegation issued a statement applauding the appointment. They say Hoke’s prior work in economic development makes him well-suited for the job.
As director of the Copper Valley Development Association, Hoke recently advocated for a new $400 million electrical transmission line for the Eastern Interior. He has also worked on energy projects for the Ahtna Inter-Tribal Resource Commission, and served as a tribal administrator.
The late Senator Ted Stevens created the Denali Commission in 1998 to fund infrastructure in rural Alaska, primarily with federal money. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating the commission, but Congress sent $15 million for this year.
Hoke is originally from Albany, N.Y., according to an Anchorage Daily News story, and moved to Alaska in the 1990s.