Family: Jeannette Lee (wife) and our children, Stella (age 7) and James (age 5)
Occupation: Municipal Manager, Municipality of Anchorage (2017-2020); ended service Dec. 1, 2020 to focus on the campaign
Previous government experience or community involvement: As municipal manager (2017-2020), I was effectively the city’s second in command, responsible to the mayor for the overall conduct of the administrative functions of the municipality. I directly oversaw nine departments (police, fire, health, employee relations, traffic, public transit, public works, maintenance & operations, project management & engineering); three utilities (solid waste collection and disposal, water and wastewater, and municipal light & power); two enterprises (the Port of Alaska and Merrill Field); and four offices (emergency management, transportation inspection, risk, and equal opportunity). As municipal attorney, I was responsible for providing legal services to the whole of Anchorage’s municipal government; managing all civil litigation to which the municipality is a party; and providing judicial prosecution of misdemeanor criminal offenses in direct support of enforcement activities. I oversaw the municipality’s civil law division, prosecutor’s office, and administrative hearing office. I have served as a board member, or in a leadership role, in many civic organizations, including: United Way of Anchorage; CIVICVentures (the municipal non-profit that oversees the capital program and bonded indebtedness of Anchorage’s convention centers); the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness; the Anchorage Police and Fire Retirement System Board; the Alaska Municipal Attorneys Association; the Alaska State Society; Alaska Common Ground (a non-profit group aimed at improving the quality of Alaska’s civic dialogue); and the Arc of Anchorage (from which my brother receives services).
Highest level of education: Juris Doctor
What is the latest book you’ve read? Or, what book do you recommend and why?: I just finished Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller, who contributed to Radiolab and co-founded Invisibilia. It’s partly a biography of David Starr Jordan, who is credited with classifying fully a fifth of all the fish known to science today (but who was also an ardent eugenicist); and partly a memoir of the author’s own upbringing, relationships and finding happiness through new ways of seeing the world. It mostly worked for me — and I didn’t previously know that the common notion of “fish” doesn’t correspond to any single, discrete segment of the evolutionary tree. A quick read; I enjoyed it. (As a former physics major, a book that has really stuck with me is Richard Feynman’s The Character of Physical Law for its discussion of how symmetry relates to conservation laws. . . but I recognize that’s kind of niche topic.)