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Secretary Locke Appoints Alaskan to be Denali Commission Federal Co-Chair

Former Commission Staffer Joel Neimeyer First Alaska Native to Hold Post

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today the appointment of Alaskan Joel Neimeyer as the federal Co-Chair of the Denali Commission. Neimeyer is a former program manager for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to the Denali Commission and will be the first Alaska Native to serve as head of the Commission.

"The Denali Commission has proven a crucial part of economic development in Alaska's communities, and I take pride in appointing someone as qualified as Joel Neimeyer to lead the commission," Locke said. "I look forward to working with Joel to build on a strong record of strengthening Alaska's communities."

The Denali Commission is an innovative federal-state partnership designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and support for economic development in Alaska by delivering federal services in the most cost-effective manner possible. The Denali Commission operates hundreds of projects in rural communities across the state.

A civil engineer, Neimeyer has worked as a program officer through the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and as an environmental health officer for the Indian Health Service. He is active in civil affairs in Anchorage as president of the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center Board and is a board member of the United Way. Neimeyer starts work at the Denali Commission on January 3.

Neimeyer was recommended to the Obama administration by Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

"Joel is a proven administrator who has deep roots in the Alaska communities he will serve as Denali Commission federal co-chair," Begich said. "I commend Secretary Locke and President Obama for recognizing his excellent skills at running this vital agency."

For more information on the Denali Commission visit: http://www.denali.gov/.

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