Department of the Interior

For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2006
Contact: Shane Wolfe

Scarlett Names Neidig Special Assistant For Alaska

WASHINGTON DC— Acting Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett today announced the appointment of Hans Neidig as Special Assistant to the Secretary for Alaska, effective June 5.

"Hans Neidig exemplifies the spirit of the great state of Alaska," Scarlett said. "His broad experiences in Alaska are impressive in scope and provide him with the perspective needed to face the wide array of challenges we face as stewards of much of Alaska's public lands."

Neidig's diverse employment experience in Alaska includes fighting wildland fires with BLM's Alaska Fire Service for five seasons on the Northstar, Midnight Sun and Chena Hotshot fire crews, working for the Alaska State Parks Conservation Corps, guiding anglers in western Alaska and working on a clean-up crew following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Valley Healthy Communities Program, a nonprofit organization supporting community health initiatives in the Mat-Su. Neidig grew up training and racing sled dogs, subsistence hunting and fishing with his father and running a trap-line to pay for his ice-hockey equipment.

Neidig worked as an aide to U.S. Senators Alan Simpson (WY) and Ted Stevens (AK). In addition, he served as a legislative aide in the Alaska Legislature for five sessions, working for both House and Senate members on various natural resource issues. He also served as an aide to the Alaska House Natural Resources Committee.

He sits on the Matanuska Telephone Association Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Mat-Su Agency Partnership, Huts Committee Chair for the Mountaineering Club of Alaska and Rotary Assistant District Governor. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Neidig majored in international studies and minored in political science. He holds a Masters Degree from the Flinders Institute of Public Policy & Management in Adelaide, Australia. Neidig has also studied international relations at Janos Pannonius University in Pecs, Hungary.

He and his wife, Anna, reside in Wasilla.

Neidig will report to Drue Pearce, the Washington, D.C.-based Senior Advisor for Alaska Affairs. He will assist the Secretary in managing and protecting Alaska's more than 200 million acres of Interior Department land, including 72 million acres of wildlife refuge lands, 53 million acres of park lands, 85 million acres of Bureau of Land Management lands and over 50 million acres of wilderness area managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.