Begich Welcomes Anchorage Attorney Walter Featherly As Alaska’s Croatian Consul
U.S. Senator Mark Begich is welcoming the appointment of Anchorage attorney and business leader Walter Featherly as Alaska’s Honorary Consul for the Republic of Croatia.
Begich recommended Featherly for the post, which was recently approved by the Croatian Foreign Affairs Ministry. As Honorary Consul, Featherly will represent Croatia’s commercial and cultural interests in Alaska and deal with visa issues which may arise with Croatian citizens or those traveling to the Mediterranean nation.
“Walter is well connected throughout Alaska, has traveled across Croatia and will do an excellent job representing Croatia’s enormous economic opportunities and rich cultural heritage,” said Begich, who also is of Croatian descent.
“The Croatian government is pleased to have a representative of Walter’s qualifications and expertise representing us in Alaska, the home of the only United States senator of Croatian background,” said Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Joško Paro.
Since 2001, Featherly has worked as an Anchorage attorney with the national firm, Patton Boggs, focusing on business and corporate law matters for Alaska Native corporations and Tribes. He earned his law degree from Harvard University and graduated from East Anchorage High School.
“I am honored to receive this appointment, and I thank Senator Begich for the recommendation. Croatia is a beautiful country, and its people are true friends of the United States,” said Featherly.
Featherly is active in community affairs and is currently serving as the president of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra. He formerly served on the Anchorage School Board and is a member of the Anchorage East Rotary Club. Featherly’s maternal great-grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 20th century from small villages near the Kupa River in Croatia and Slovenia.
Begich’s grandfather immigrated from Croatia to Minnesota at the turn of the century and his parents, Nick and Pegge Begich, moved to Alaska from Minnesota when Alaska was still a territory. Begich chairs the U.S. Senate Croatian Caucus.
Croatia, a democratic parliamentary republic, is located in central Europe on the Adriatic Sea and is a key U.S. partner in world troublespots. It was recently admitted to the European Union, is a strong member of NATO and is seeking to increase relations with the U.S. and other western nations.