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Alaska Permanent Fund board of trustees removes executive director

(KTUU)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 3:26 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 7:10 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The board of trustees for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has abruptly removed Executive Director Angela Rodell.

On Thursday, the corporation posted a press release to its website advertising that the board of trustees is searching for a new executive director. The press release noted that the move came after the board had completed an annual evaluation of the executive director.

“The Board of Trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation have decided to undertake a search for a new executive director to lead the Permanent Fund in its continued growth and evolving role in support of Alaska,” the release states.

“The Board is grateful for Director Rodell’s service and engagement during her tenure and wishes her well,” it continues.

The reason for removing Rodell was not included in the statement.

“Only the board can explain it’s reasoning,” Rodell told Alaska’s News Source. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve Alaskans and their fund; which is our most important resource both for Alaska today and future generations. I am especially thankful for the incredible employees of APFC and the community of Juneau.”

While the board searchers for Rodell’s replacement, Chief Financial Officer Valerie Mertz has been tapped to serve as acting executive director.

“The Board has complete confidence in her ability to manage the Corporation and the Fund during this transition,” the release states.

Rodell’s abrupt ouster occurred at the end of the trustee’s quarterly meeting held in Anchorage on Thursday. The trustees went into executive session to discuss her performance behind closed doors.

When returning into public session, the trustees voted 5-1 to remove her as CEO. William Moran was the only trustee to vote no. The meeting was quickly adjourned with no explanation offered for their decision.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Lucinda Mahoney did not answer emailed questions why Rodell was ousted. She referred further questions to Paulyn Swanson, a corporation spokesperson, who said she could not comment on personnel matters.

Craig Richards, the board’s chair, did not respond to a request for comment.

On Friday, chairs of the Alaska House and Senate Rules Committee Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Bryce Edgmon wrote a letter asking for an explanation for the action.

“In her six-year tenure as Executive Director, the Permanent Fund grew a record-setting $30 billion in value. Ms. Rodell’s track record is nothing short of exemplary, she always has been a steadfast professional, and did everything within her power to shield the Fund from outside political interference. We strongly believe that the public and legislature deserve an explanation for the action the board took yesterday,” Edgmon and Stevens wrote.

Rodell was selected to lead the corporation by the board in 2015. According to the corporation’s website, the fund has grown by more than 50% since she became the chief executive officer. She previously also served on the board of trustees as a cabinet member.

Mertz has served as the chief financial officer since 2012.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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