Gov. Sean Parnell named Kip Knudson the director of state and federal relations on Wednesday to work from Parnell’s Washington, D.C. office. According to a report by the Associated Press, Knudson’s position will amount to the state’s top lobbyist spot in D.C. Knudson is currently working for Tesoro Alaska as the external affairs manager.
“Obviously (Washington, D.C.) is a critical place for policy when it comes to Alaska,” Knudson said. “So I look forward to trying to help the administration and the state to get some good things done out there.”
Knudson has been working in Alaska for 20 years, which has given him experience on a variety of issues, and has prepared him for the job-at-hand.
Knudson’s resume includes staffing the Alaska House Finance Committee, government relations manager for Era Aviation and Aviation Deputy Commissioner at Alaska Department of Transportation.
Knudson will be replacing John Katz, who has served in the position for more than 30 years and is set to retire at the end of the year.
“Obviously everyone has a lot to learn,” Knudson said about his new position. “And I’m going to be learning a lot from Mr. Katz.”
The new position will be similar to a position Knudson once had in the state legislature.
“There will be literally hundreds of topics to cover and follow and try to be somewhat converse in,” he said. “From health and social services issues to native Alaskan issues to fishing, oil and gas. There’s going to be a very wide scope, and that’s exciting and intimidating.”
The best part of being in Washington, D.C., he said, will be meeting other Alaskans.
“Alaskans are always out in D.C. working on something,” Knudson said. “So I’m expecting I’m going to meet a tremendous number of Alaskans, and that’s pretty exciting for me.”