The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska hired Roald Helgesen as chief operating officer, Tlingit and Haida announced.
In the position, Helgesen will manage Tlingit & Haida’s administrative and program operations to ensure all activities are carried out consistent with the established goals and objectives of the tribe’s strategic plan and within the framework of adopted budgets, applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures, according to a Tlingit and Haida news release.
Helgesen will also act as a liaison with government and private organizations, represent Tlingit and Haida in business negotiations and will also serve on the tribe’s investment committee for the Tribal Trust Fund, board for the Tlingit and Haida/Hope Condominium Association and tribally owned enterprises and as a trustee for the tribe’s employee retirement plans.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Helgesen to Tlingit and Haida’s administrative team,” said President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson in a news release. “His wealth of knowledge and experience as well as commitment to serving our communities will not only strengthen the governance of Tlingit and Haida, it will greatly contribute to our efforts to keep the Tribe moving forward and expanding services and opportunities for our tribal citizens.”
Helgesen grew up in Sitka, according to Tlingit and Haida. He is Eagle-Frog of the Sgajuuga.ahl clan; an enrolled tribal citizen of Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Tlingit and Haida; and a shareholder of Sealaska Corporation. He is married to Carly Helgesen and together they have two children, Kaare and Karin.
Helgesen graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and minor in public administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1994 and a Master of Science degree in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, according to Tlingit and Haida.
Helgesen previously served as the chief executive officer and hospital administrator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and president and CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, according to Tlingit and Haida. Early in his career, he served as a volunteer EMT and firefighter in Sitka where he worked his way up to fire captain and worked for SEARHC’s medevac team.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the tribe to meet the needs of our tribal citizens,” Helgesen said in a news release. “Building on the successes of the past, the efforts of President Peterson, the Executive Council, Tribal Assembly and staff are positively impacting the lives of our people. I am honored to join the leadership team and excited to support the tribe’s priority of expanding political and economic sovereignty.”