About Us


Denali Commission Act of 1998

The Denali Commission Act of 1998 established the Denali Commission (Commission) to deliver services of the federal government in the most cost-effective manner by reducing administrative and overhead costs. As part of the act, the Commission’s mission of providing job training and other economic development services in rural communities was established with a specific focus on promoting rural development, and providing power generation, transition facilities, modern communication systems, water and sewer systems and other infrastructure needs in rural Alaska.

Since its inception, the Denali Commission Act of 1998 has been updated several times expanding its mission to include the planning and construction of health care facilities and the establishment of the Denali Access System Program for surface transportation infrastructure and waterfront transportation projects.

Most recently, the Denali Commission Act was again expanded to include the authority for the Commission to accept funding from other federal agencies as well as gifts or donations for the purpose of carrying out the act.

Read the Denali Commission Act of 1998 as amended. 

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The Denali Commission’s funding has traditionally included federal congressional appropriations through the Energy and Water appropriations committee.  In addition, the Commission also receives funds from sources such as the US Department of Agriculture and from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability trust fund for energy projects.  In recent legislation, the Commission acquired new authority within its statute that allows the Commission to accept gifts or donations of services, property or money, from non-federal entities; and the Commission is also able to accept transfers of funds from other Federal agencies to carry out any activities that are authorized in its mission.

For questions about the Commission’s funding please contact Corrine Eilo, CFO at 907-271-1424 or ceilo@denali.gov.

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Our Staff

John Torgerson, Interim Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission

Direct: 907-271-1440 - jtorgerson@denali.gov
John Torgerson was appointed in June 2018 by the U.S. Commerce Secretary. As the interim federal co-chair Mr. Torgerson serves as the Commission’s Agency Head, acts as a tiebreaker in any Commission votes and accepts the Commission’s annual work plan.

Jay Farmwald, Director of Programs

Direct:  907-271-1413 - jfarmwald@denali.gov
Jay Farmwald is responsible for directing and overseeing the programs of the Commission.  He supervises the program and grant staff.  Mr. Farmwald serves as a member of the senior management team.

Corrine Eilo, Chief Financial Officer

Direct:  907-271-1424- ceilo@denali.gov
Corrine Eilo is responsible for directing and overseeing the administrative, fiscal and human resource management of the Commission.  She supervises the administrative and financial staff and has oversight of contracted services that support the agency across all programs.  Ms. Eilo serves as a member of the senior management team.

John Whittington, General Counsel

Direct: 907-271-1640- jwhittington@denali.gov
John Whittington is the general counsel for the Commission. He is responsible for the agency’s ethics program and serves as the legal advisor to the agency on all matters. Mr. Whittington serves as a member of the senior management team.

Teresa Cortes, Support Assistant

Direct: 907-271-1414 - tcortes@denali.gov
Teresa Cortes is responsible for greeting visitors in the Anchorage office, answering and directing phone calls and correspondence, booking conference rooms, and providing general administrative support.

Tom Wolf, Energy, Bulk Fuel and Transportation Manager

Direct: 907-271-5232- twolf@denali.gov

Don Antrobus, VIP Program Manager

Direct: 907-271-3500 - dantrobus@denali.gov

Jocelyn Fenton, Program Manager

Direct: 907-271-4714 - jfenton@denali.gov

Kristen Arnold, Program Specialist

Direct: 907-271-5239 - karnold@denali.gov

Janet Davis, Grants Officer

Direct: 907-271-3036- jdavis@denali.gov

Judy Herrick, Contracting Officer Representative

Direct: 907-271-3099- jherrick@denali.gov

Beth Flowers, Senior Financial Officer

Direct: 907-271-1803- bflowers@denali.gov

Molly Penney, Financial Officer

Direct: 907-271-1192- mpenney@denali.gov

Anne Stanislowski, Administrative Officer

Direct: 907-271-3011- astanislowski@denali.gov

Elinda Hetemi, Human Resources Officer

Direct: 907-271-3415 - ehetemi@denali.gov

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Meet the Commissioners

The Denali Commission Act of 1998 establishes that the Commission is composed of seven members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to create the proposed annual work plan for the Denali Commission. Many of these Commissioners additionally serve as part of the Commission’s Advisory Bodies. These Commissioners represent perspectives throughout Alaska and include the Governor of the State of Alaska; the Presidents of the University of Alaska, Alaska Municipal League, Alaska Federation of Natives, AFL-CIO Alaska, Associated General Contractors of Alaska; and the Federal Co-Chair of the Denali Commission.

John T

John Torgerson, Interim Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission

Phone: 907-271-1414

Mr. John Torgerson serves as the Interim Federal Co-Chair for the Denali Commission and in that position acts as meeting chair during Commission meetings. Mr. Torgerson also serves as Chair of the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Byron Mallott, State Co-Chair, Lieutenant Governor, State of Alaska 

Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott serves as the State Co-Chair for the Denali Commission.


John Mackinnon, Executive Director, Associated General Contractors of Alaska

Phone: 907-561-5354

Mr. John MacKinnon serves as a Commissioner representing the Associated General Contractors of Alaska.


Julie E. Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives

Phone: 907-274-3611

Ms. Julie Kitka serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Alaska Municipal League

Phone: 907-586-1325

Mr. Nils Andreassen serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska Municipal League.

Dr. Jim Johnsen, President, University of Alaska

Phone: 907-450-8009

Dr. Jim Johnsen serves as a Commissioner representing the University of Alaska.


Vince Beltrami, Executive President, Alaska Afl-Cio

Phone: 907-258-6284

Mr. Vince Beltrami serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska AFL-CIO.

Advisory Committees

Transportation Advisory Committee

Carvel Zimin, Jr. - Bristol Bay Borough Assembly
Chuck Pool, P.E., R.L.S. - Pool Engineering, Incorporated
Chuck Quinlan - K'oyitl'ots'ina, Limited
Mike Hoffman - Association of Village Council Presidents
Randy Romenesko, P.E. - Norton Sound Health Corporation
Ray Richards - Doyon Limited
Steve Ivanoff - Kawerak, Incorporated
Walter Sampson - NANA Regional Corporation

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Mertarvik DEIS 2017

Mertarvik Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Denali Commission announces the availability for review and comment of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Infrastructure Development at Mertarvik, Alaska. This notice of availability is being provided to agencies, organizations, and the interested public.

Read full statement >>>

2017 Distressed/Non-Distressed List

The 2017 "Distressed" Community Criteria prepared by the Alaska Department of Labor for the Denali Commission is now available online. Please contact the Denali Commission at 907.271.1414 with any questions.

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