Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell was fired as CEO on Dec. 10 by APFC’s board, a decision which has lawmakers and others asking ‘why?’ (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell was fired as CEO on Dec. 10 by APFC’s board, a decision which has lawmakers and others asking ‘why?’ (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Lawmakers want answers on CEO firing at permanent fund corp

Board decision raises questions for politicians

The sudden firing of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation’s CEO Angela Rodell has state lawmakers and political observers looking for answers.

Rodell’s firing was announced Dec. 1o, during a meeting of the APFC Board of Directors, who voted 5-1 in favor of her removal following a closed-door executive session. Rodell had clashed with board members in October over a proposal to cut pay for APFC employees, which the board ultimately rejected. The board gave no explanation for Rodell’s firing.

Since then, lawmakers and others have called for an investigation into the firing, often citing the fund’s record-breaking performance during her tenure. Speaking to the Empire Monday, Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, said the board had a legal right to privacy under personnel laws, but an explanation was needed.

“We may never know the reason, but when you look at how well the Permanent Fund’s been doing,” Stevens said. “I hope we can set up a time and place to meet with the board to explain what happened.”

[Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board ousts CEO Rodell]

Rodell did not respond to a message seeking request for comment.

Before becoming CEO in 2015, Rodell had been Department of Revenue Commissioner since 2013 and is currently the chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. According to APFC, the Permanent Fund was at more than $50 billion in 2015 when Rodell took over the corporation, and currently sits at more than $80 billion. The fund grew considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Rodell told the Empire in July was because the fund was well-positioned to take advantage of volatility in the market.

However, Rodell has also opposed the Alaska State Legislature exceeding the 5% of market value earnings the state allows itself each year to fund the government without first having a long-term fiscal plan in place. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has argued the state should overdraw the fund, only once, in order to transition the state to more fiscal footing while at the same time paying large Permanent Fund Dividends to Alaskans.

But lawmakers spent the entire summer in extended special sessions clashing over the direction of what that fiscal plan might look like, and despite four special sessions, lawmakers were unable to make much progress toward a comprehensive solution.

Current and former lawmakers called for answers on social media, and the bicameral Legislative Budget and Audit Committee has added the issue to the agenda of its Dec. 15, meeting.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

Donated blood is prepared for storage and eventual transport at the Blood Bank of Alaska's Juneau location. There is a statewide shortage of donated blood. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
‘National blood crisis’ presents challenges in Alaska

Donation centers contend with COVID, weather and other disruptions as they work to stock hospitals.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

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

This picture shows recent editions of the Juneau Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

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

Pathfinder to Point Louisa, Auke Recreation Area on Jan. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto).
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

In this satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, and released by the agency, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. (Japan Meteorology Agency)
Update: Tsunami advisory canceled for Southeast Alaska

It applies to Southeast from the BC border to Cape Fairweather.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center 
This golden eagle was rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center over the summer after being found weak and thin.
All the birds I’ve known: Rescue center, birdwatchers look back on 2021

The Christmas bird count was way down this year.

Most Read