UA Journey

1979-1984 John Shively

John Shively Photo: UAA LitSite

Kotzebue

John Shively is currently the senior partner in Jade North, LLC, an Alaska based consulting firm specializing in natural resource and Alaska Native issues.

Previously, Mr. Shively was the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. He held this position from February 1995 until September of 2000, the second-longest tenure of any person in that position in Alaska's history. During his nearly six-year tenure, he was responsible for overseeing the management of more than 80 million acres of state land. His responsibilities included oil and gas development on state lands, mining development and permitting, land disposals, agriculture development and the State Park System.

Key accomplishments of the department while he served as Commissioner included a revamping of the State's oil and gas leasing system, re-negotiation of the North Star oil and gas leases, negotiations involving the BP-ARCO merger, reforming some of the state's mining laws and regulations, and revitalization of the State's land disposal program. He also oversaw major improvements in the Department's use of 21st Century technology, which allowed the department to increase its efficiency during a time when its core workforce was reduced by about 15 percent.

Mr. Shively was born in Middletown, N.Y. He grew up on a dairy farm near there. He attended high school at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., and graduated in 1965 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a bachelor's degree in political science.

Mr. Shively began his public service in Alaska as a VISTA volunteer in 1965, serving in Bethel and Yakutat, and as a supervisor for Northern Alaska. In 1968, he began work as a health planner in both Anchorage and rural Alaska. From 1969 to 1972, he was deputy director and later executive director of the Rural Alaska Community Action Program. He was executive vice president of the Alaska Federation of Natives from 1972 to 1975.

He then joined NANA Regional Corporation, serving first as vice president of operations from 1975 to 1983, then as senior vice president from 1986 to 1992. From 1992 to 1994, he served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for NANA Development Corporation. Among his many activities during his time at NANA, one of the most significant was his involvement in the development of the Red Dog Mine, the world's largest zinc mine.

In 1983, Governor Bill Sheffield named Mr. Shively his chief of staff. Mr. Shively left that position in 1985, doing consulting work for a number of clients until his return to NANA in 1986. He also took on the challenge of chairman and CEO of the United Bancorporation Alaska, Inc., and United Bank of Alaska during 1987-88.

Just prior to his return to public service as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Mr. Shively was a consultant on management issues, Alaska Native Land Claims, litigation and government relations.

Shively has been a regent for the University of Alaska. He also has served on the boards of the Anchorage Symphony, Democratic Leadership Council, Junior Achievement of Alaska, Inc., and the Alaska Federation of Natives Legislative Committee, as well as a number of other boards. In the early 1990s, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska tapped Mr. Shively to head up a successful statewide campaign to raise nearly $1 million.

Governor Knowles appointed Mr. Shively to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees in January 1999. He was also named by the Governor to lead the 1999 state employee SHARE campaign which set a record for giving that year.

Mr. Shively is the author of a number of publications on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other Native and rural issues. In 1992, he received the Denali Award for his contributions to the Native community. The award is the highest honor given by the Alaska Federation of Natives to a non-Native.

Mr. Shively resides in Anchorage with his wife Alexandra and daughter Natasha.
 

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