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Press Release



Pat Pourchot Chosen as Interior Special Assistant for Alaska Affairs



05/07/2009


Contact: Frank Quimby
(202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, DC – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today announced the appointment of Pat Pourchot to be his Special Assistant for Alaska Affairs. Pourchot will be based in Anchorage.

“Pat’s background with the Department of Interior, the State of Alaska Native organizations, and the environmental community make him uniquely qualified to represent the Department of the Interior in Alaska,” said Secretary Salazar. “I am pleased that Pat has agreed to join my team. His decades of experience are invaluable as we focus on Alaska issues including tackling future energy opportunities in Alaska and preserving our treasured landscapes.”

Pourchot’s public career began with the Department of Interior in 1970. He spent seven years with the Department, beginning as an outdoor recreation planner and finishing with the Bureau of Land Management working on environmental issues surrounding the transport of Alaska oil to U.S. markets. He left the Department to work on Capitol Hill, where he helped fashion the Alaska Native Land Claims Act and worked on oil and gas, mining, forestry and environmental issues.

In 1981, Pourchot signed on as land manager for the Alaska Federation of Natives then worked as resource manager for one of the Alaska Native regional corporations. He served in leadership positions in both the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate. After leaving the legislature, Pourchot continued his career in public service as executive director for Commonwealth North directing public policy studies. Pat then went on to work for former Governor Tony Knowles as his legislative Director and then commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources where he was in charge of state oil and gas leasing, large mine developments, state parks, and state land and water management. Since 2005, Pourchot has been working with non-profits.

He leaves the position of Senior Policy Representative for Audubon Alaska to return to the Department of Interior.

Pat will work closely with Interior’s senior management in Alaska, the Department’s major Alaska constituents and Secretary of the Interior’s D.C.-based Director of Alaska Affairs Kim Elton.