Blatchford appointed DCED commissioner

UAA journalism professor served during Hickel administration as head of Community, Regional Affairs

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2003

Gov. Frank Murkowski on Saturday announced appointments to the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Edgar Blatchford, a journalism professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will serve as DCED commissioner. Blatchford, 52, served in Gov. Walter Hickel's administration from 1990 to 1994 as commissioner of Community and Regional Affairs.

"I believe Edgar Blatchford will be an excellent commissioner at DCED," said Murkowski in a prepared statement.

Murkowski noted Blatchford's previous Cabinet experience, and praised him for his "quality leadership" and enthusiasm.

Bill Noll, who owns a seafood industry consulting firm in Anchorage, was appointed DCED deputy commissioner. Noll also served under Hickel as a DCED deputy commissioner for international trade and development.

Cordova Mayor Margy Johnson will serve as director of a new DCED division to be created that will oversee other divisions within the department.

Murkowski spokesman John Manly said he was uncertain which divisions would be consolidated but expects an administrative order to be issued from the governor's office within the next couple of weeks defining the reorganization.

Murkowski also appointed two new members to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the state entity that regulates public utilities such as telephone, electricity, gas, water, sewer and garbage.

Dave Harbour, 60, runs The Harbour Company, a government affairs, public relations and marketing firm based in Anchorage.

Harbour's appointment will begin immediately, and Mark Johnson, 50, will begin his term in July. Johnson has served as an executive assistant to former Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink, as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Don Young in the mid-1970s, and as a staff member to a variety of state lawmakers throughout the 1980s.

Murkowski also announced on Saturday the appointment of Anchorage resident Mike Barry to the board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Barry is an economic consultant to the Denali Commission.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at

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