Dunleavy announces environmental, health commissioners

Dunleavy announces environmental, health commissioners

Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy’s pick to lead the Department of Environmental Conservation has a resource development background. His pick for health commissioner is a workforce development company executive.

Dunleavy, a Republican former state senator, in a statement said the status quo “came to a screeching halt” with his election. He said his appointees with help deliver state services in “innovative ways.”

Dunleavy takes office Dec. 3. Among the appointments he announced Monday were Jason Brune as Environmental Conservation commissioner and Adam Crum as health commissioner.

Brune is a former executive director of the Resource Development Council who worked in public affairs for a former partner in the Pebble Mine project. He most recently has worked for the Alaska Native corporation Cook Inlet Region, Inc., as senior director of land and resources.

Crum’s bio, released by Dunleavy’s transition, says he has degrees in psychology and public health. Crum told The Associated Press he is not a “health care policy guy” but is experienced in putting together and leading teams and working on projects.

He said there are talented people working in the state Department of Health and Social Services.

Crum, who said he applied for the job, is executive vice president with Northern Industrial Training LLC.

In his new role, he said a focus will be on “people, not programs,” to make sure services are provided to those who need them most. Dunleavy has said he wants to review the state’s Medicaid program to see if it’s sustainable.

Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, said it’s a bit unusual to hire someone who hasn’t worked directly in the industry. But she said the department is big and complex and requires a leader with strong management skills. If Crum has those skills and surrounds himself with people who understand the complexities of health care, she said he could be a strong leader.

“I think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt,” said Hultberg, a former state commissioner of Administration who remembers being called inexperienced. She said her agency got things done because of the talent on her team.

Dunleavy named Jonathan Quick his pick for commissioner of the Department of Administration and Donna Arduin as his budget director.

Arduin has worked with other Republican governors across the country, including as budget director for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The three commissioner picks are subject to legislative confirmation.


This is an Associated Press article by Becky Bohrer.


More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

Most Read