By Libby Casey
After serving eight governors, the director of Alaska’s Washington D-C office is resigning. John Katz plans to leave the post at the end of the year. He’s worked for Alaskan governors of all political stripes over three decades, providing a consistency to the Washington office.
In a letter to Governor Sean Parnell, Katz cited wanting to spend more time with his family… and said professionally, he’s become increasingly discouraged by the political polarization and what he called the “deterioration of the public policy process at the federal level.” Katz says it’s the worst he’s ever seen it.
He called his biggest satisfaction has been working with dedicated and talented Alaskans… and his biggest disappointment, the failure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
Katz was the state’s Commissioner of Natural Resources in the early 1980s, and before that was special counsel to Governor Jay Hammond in 1979 on the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Alaska’s Senators heaped praise on Katz today. Senator Mark Begich said in a written statement that he’s appreciated Katz’s wise council and will miss his calm demeanor and encyclopedic knowledge of Alaska and Senator Lisa Murowski said he’s “lived the bipartisan life so many Alaskans and Americans do.”