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ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker announced his new appointments to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Board of Directors Friday. Luke Hopkins of Fairbanks will join the seven-member board, which oversees the agency’s efforts to build a natural gas pipeline and liquefaction plant in Alaska. Mr. Hopkins is the former mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. He will fill the seat vacated by former AGDC Board Chairman John Burns.
“I am pleased to welcome Luke Hopkins to the AGDC Board of Directors. As the mayor of the Fairbanks Borough, Luke was instrumental in creating a new municipal gas utility for the Borough, and directing major funds to develop lower cost natural gas supply for Fairbanks residents,” said Governor Walker. “I also want to thank John Burns for his service to the AGDC board and the state. John is a talented attorney and I hope to utilize his skills in a different capacity of this project going forward.”
A resident of Fairbanks for nearly 50 years, Mr. Hopkins has an extensive background in local government and project development. He served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Planning Commission for seven years, and was a Borough Assembly member for more than five years. In October 2015, Mr. Hopkins completed two terms as the Borough mayor, where he was actively involved in keeping military troops at Eielson Air Force Base and bringing major economic growth to the Fairbanks region. Mr. Hopkins has been involved in a wide variety of local and statewide boards and commissions, including the State of Alaska Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board, the Association of Defense Communities, the Alaska Municipal League, and the Alaska Gasline Port Authority.
Governor Walker also appointed Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Marc Luiken to the AGDC Board today. Commissioner Luiken will fill the seat vacated by Department of Commerce Community and Economic Development Commissioner Chris Hladick. As the head of DOTPF, Commissioner Luiken oversees the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of Alaska’s transportation system, public buildings, and facilities.
“As the state transitions to play a larger role in the Alaska LNG project, it is absolutely critical that we have strong leadership in place to guide our endeavors. I also plan to work on direct communication between the Governor’s office and the legislature, and I will continue to look for opportunities to include them in discussions about the project,” Governor Walker said. “I look forward to working with the AGDC Board and the legislature in the coming months and years as we work to bring Alaska’s natural gas to the world market.”
AGDC is governed by a seven-member board of directors, which includes five public members and two commissioners. Mr. Hopkins and Commissioner Luiken will join AGDC board members Dave Cruz of Palmer, Rick Halford of Dillingham, Joey Merrick of Anchorage, Hugh Short of Girdwood, and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas.