The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Anchorage) — Acting Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang today announced that long-time Alaska fisheries analyst Rachel S. Baker will join the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) as deputy commissioner beginning Feb. 1. Also joining the department is Rachel Hanke who started work as legislative liaison earlier this month.
“Rachel Baker and Rachel Hanke both understand the importance of the health and sustainability of our resources in the long-term,” said Vincent-Lang. “They care about putting food on the table of Alaskans and insuring that the state retains its fish and wildlife management authority.”
Baker brings 15 years experience as an analyst and policy advisor in state and federal fisheries management to her role at the department. She began her fisheries career in 2003 as an economist with ADF&G. She joined the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2008 where she most recently worked as Supervisory Fishery Management Specialist in Silver Spring, MD. She will be based in Juneau.
As deputy commissioner she will represent the state’s interests in federal fisheries management issues, including representing the department with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on behalf of the commissioner. She will also coordinate state and federal fisheries policies and management programs to benefit the state and Alaska’s coastal communities.
“I am pleased to join the ADF&G and support its important work to manage and conserve our fisheries resources,” she said. “I have always been impressed by department staff and their commitment to providing high quality information for management decisions. I am eager to work with our scientists, managers and stakeholders to implement policy and management programs that maximize fishery benefits for all Alaskans.”
Hanke started at the department on Jan. 7. She will be the department legislative liaison. She worked in the legislature for five years prior to joining the ADF&G. Her background includes stints as staff to Sen. Peter Micciche and Rep. Kurt Olson. She is an avid hunter, fisherwoman, trapper and lifelong Alaskan. She grew up on the Kenai River.
“I am thrilled to work with lawmakers on fish and game issues,” said Hanke. “Alaska is unique, and I look forward to sharing the department’s challenges with lawmakers as well as the opportunities the department brings to Alaskans.”