Today, The Alaska State Legislature has confirmed all of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointees to lead state departments. In addition, Commissioner Jason Brune of the Department of Environmental Conservation was confirmed unanimously to be the Lt. Governor’s successor.
“Thank you to the Legislature for approving all my appointees today in a joint session,” said Governor Dunleavy. “These dedicated Alaskans will serve our state with pride. I have enjoyed working alongside each of them, and I know they will continue to prioritize helping Alaskans and doing what is best for our great state. Thank you, commissioners, for your commitment.”
The confirmed commissioners are:
Commissioner Jen Winkelman, Department of Corrections
Commissioner Jen Winkelman started with the Department of Corrections in 2001. She has served as a Probation/Parole Officer in various capacities with the Division of Pretrial, Probation, and Parole (DP3) and the Division of Institutions in Fairbanks, Palmer, and Juneau. Most recently, she was the Director of DP3. Born and raised in Fairbanks, she has a bachelor’s degree in justice from the University of Alaska- Fairbanks. She previously served on the Fairbanks and Juneau reentry coalitions and the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. She serves on the Governor’s Council for Homelessness and the Alaska Police Standards Council.
Commissioner Heidi Hedberg, Department of Health
Commissioner Heidi Hedberg has been with the state since 2009, serving in various capacities within the Division of Public Health, Department of Health, and most recently, as the Director for the Division of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alaska Pacific University. She moved to the state in 1995 from Seattle, Washington. Prior to her state service, she worked with various non-profit organizations for twelve years. She also chairs the Governor’s Advisory Council on Opioid Remediation and serves on the Governor’s Council on Homelessness and State Emergency Response Commission.
Commissioner John Boyle, Department of Natural Resources
Commissioner John Boyle moved to Alaska in 2010 after graduating from law school to serve a judicial clerkship in Fairbanks. Following the conclusion of the clerkship, he moved to Utqiagvik to work as an Assistant Borough Attorney and later Chief Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the North Slope Borough’s Government and External Affairs department. In 2016 he moved to BP as their Director of Government Affairs before joining Oil Search (now Santos) as Government Affairs Manager. He earned a Juris Doctorate from J. Ruben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and a Bachelor of Science in Management and Finance at Brigham Young University.
Commissioner Adam Crum, Department of Revenue
Prior to being appointed commissioner of the Department of Health & Social Services in 2018, Commissioner Adam Crum was executive vice president of his family’s company, Northern Industrial Training. Commissioner Crum is active in community service organizations and has served as a board member for groups like the Salvation Army and MyHouse, a group that works specifically with homeless youth. Both groups work with clients with mental health, substance use disorder, transitional housing, and workforce development issues. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Commissioner Kim Kovol, Department of Family and Community Services
Commissioner Kim Kovol has over 25 years of experience in the private sector in executive leadership, management, operating licensed childcare facilities, organizational development, restructuring logistics, and working in the human and social services realm with youth and adults. Prior to being appointed commissioner, Commissioner Kovol was Special Assistant to Governor Dunleavy with a social services portfolio focusing on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons, Human and Sex Trafficking, Homelessness, Foster care, Early Childcare, Eldercare, Opioids / Fentanyl, and Suicide Prevention. Commissioner Kovol has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and studies (K-8 Education) from San Diego State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage.