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USDA-Rural Development Alaska Announces Hire of New West Area Manager

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 2, 2014 – U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced Jolene John has been hired as the new USDA-RD Alaska West Area Manager effective July 14th. The West Area covers the Lake and Peninsula Borough; Bristol Bay Borough; Dillingham census area; Bethel and Wade-Hampton census areas; Nome census area; and the Northwest Arctic Borough.

   Ms. John comes from the village of Toksook Bay/Nunakauyaq, on Nelson Island and is a member of the Nunakauyarmiut Tribe. She grew up as a Yup'ik speaker, and is the youngest of Kangrilnguq Paul and Anguyaluk Martina John's ten children. Aside from the three years spent working for Native American Tribes in other states, Jolene has been in Alaska, working on behalf of rural communities through the programs and services she has managed.

   "Her professional experience includes working with regional and statewide non-profit organizations; health corporations; tribal governments; the Community Development Quota program and the State of Alaska. She is highly knowledgeable about the unique needs of rural Alaska. She will assist USDA in tailoring projects to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of area residents. Such projects may include funding through our Housing, Utilities, Business or Community Facilities programs," said Nordlund.

   Jolene attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rural Development, with an emphasis in Community Organization and Service.  Jolene also completed a Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Health under the School of Business, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

   When asked why she applied for this position, Ms. John replied, "I want to promote infrastructure development in rural Alaska.  We know every community needs it and is required for advancement. I've worked on community and economic development projects in several capacities and understand what challenges our rural Alaskan residents face when it comes to building opportunities." 

   For more information on USDA-RD in Alaska, please visit: www.rurdev.usda.gov/AKHome.html.

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