Our Board of Directors

The Alaska Center Board of Directors

The Alaska Center Board of Directors (not pictured: Agatha Erickson)

John Duffy*, Chair
Susan Klein, Vice Chair
Mike Fink*, Secretary/Treasurer
Peg Tileston*
Agatha Erickson
*Denotes crossover member with The Alaska Center Education Fund Board

For more information about the board of our partner organization – The Alaska Center Education Fund – please click here.

Join our Board!

The Alaska Center Board of Directors is accepting applications for new board members through April 1, 2017, for a term beginning in May of 2017. Currently, we are seeking additional board members from specific regions – the Interior, Southeast, and Southwest – to enhance our statewide perspectives and representation. Ideal board candidates will have a statewide perspective on conservation and social issues, have an interest or background in Alaska politics, support the mission and priority issues and strategies of The Alaska Center, and be willing to leverage their networks to support positive changes focused on our mission throughout our state. 

Our volunteer board provides leadership, governance, and support to The Alaska Center. We are currently developing a multi-year strategic plan to achieve our vision of a thriving and sustainable Alaska for future generations. We need thoughtful individuals to join us in this work. Our board meets monthly in Anchorage with a Skype/teleconference option. In addition, board members participate in committee work. Alternatively, if you are interested in participating in a more focused way, contact us to become part of one of our committees.

For more information and to apply (attach cover letter and resume or CV), please download the job description here and send your application to Ann Rappoport at agrappoport@gmail.com.

John Duffy, Chair, Palmer

John Duffy

John has over 30 year’s experience with local government; serving in Alaska as both a Planning Director and Borough Manager. During John’s time in local government he prepared numerous comprehensive, community-based and functional plans (e.g., transportation) as well as special purpose plans such as lake management and economic development plans. His work also involved obtaining the funding of capital projects in excess of $750 million, to include major transportation improvement and school construction projects. He is author of numerous land use regulations, two of which, Coalbed Methane Development and Electrical Power Plant, are now used as national templates for use by other local governments.

In addition, John served on EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee where he chaired the Indicators and Military workgroups. These workgroups provided advice to EPA on environmental metrics, climate change, and issue related to formally used defense sites. John also served on EPA’s Committee responsible for developing advice on the environmental protocols of North American Free Trade Agreement.

John holds a doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Natural Resources and Sustainability and a Master’s of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois. His research interest is in local government efforts in the areas of climate change, disaster resilience and adaptive development.

John is also the Vice Chair of the board for The Alaska Center Education Fund.

Susan Klein, Vice Chair, Anchorage


Susan Klein

Susan has been on the board of The Alaska Center since fall of 2013. She enjoys working with board and staff to further the efforts of The Alaska Center to engage the public in issues such as clean water and climate change. She is passionate about changing the make-up of our legislature to one that works to address the villages affected by climate change, that works to protect our salmon and the health of Alaska’s natural resources for future generations.

SShe has a bachelor’s of arts in History from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a masters of science in Library Science from SUNY Buffalo and a master’s of science in Environmental Science from Alaska Pacific University. Susan moved to Alaska in 1985 after canoeing the Noatak River in 1983 and dreaming of living here. Susan was a librarian at Loussac Library serving institutionalized populations as well as the general public. She went back to school for a science degree after which she worked as a Vegetation Ecologist at the Alaska Natural Heritage Program at UAA.

When not working on the board, Susan works too much at three paying jobs, plays and performs on button box accordion, and enjoys reading, traveling and gardening.

Mike Fink, Secretary/Treasurer, Anchorage

Mike Fink

Mike Fink

Mike is a long time Alaskan, born in Fairbanks and settling in Anchorage after spending some time in the lower 48. He graduated with degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and left Alaska to see the world. Eventually he came to his senses and made his way back to Alaska where he has lived since 2009. Mike has spent most of his career working for large CPA firms, and holds a CPA license in Alaska and Oregon. In addition to his service as a crossover board member for both The Alaska Center and The Alaska Center Education Fund, he also sits on the Board of Directors for Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) and the Accounting Advisory Board for the University Of Alaska Fairbanks School Of Management. He joined the board on a dare from his wife, Claire, while attending The Alaska Center’s annual silent auction.

When he isn’t busy working, Mike spends his time trying to keep up with his Claire and the dogs on the running and ski trails around Anchorage, or working on old motorcycles.

Mike is also a cross-over board member with our partner organization, Alaska Center Education Fund.

Peg Tileston, Anchorage

Peg Tileston

Shortly after arrival to the state in 1972, Peg Tileston began volunteering at the Alaska Center for the Environment and during the ensuing years, she served as both a board member and staff person.  In addition, Peg has co­founded Trustees for Alaska, Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Women’s Environmental Network, and Alaska Common Ground. Peg was on the board of Chugach Electric Association and the national board of Sierra Club and has served on a number of state and local advisory boards and commissions. In addition to this board, she also serves on the board of Alaska Common Ground.

Peg was the co-­owner of InformAlaska, a research corporation, and currently owns Tileston & Associates. Since 1999, she has produced the weekly calendar of natural resource and conservation events What’s Up, which is distributed statewide to over 2250 (mostly Alaskan) email addresses. Peg and Jules have been married for 58 years and have three daughters and two granddaughters.

Peg is also a cross-over board member with our partner organization, The Alaska Center Education Fund.

Agatha Erickson, Anchorage

Agatha Erickson

Agatha is a born and raised Alaskan, with family roots in the Interior and Southeast Alaska. She is Koyukon Athabascan and a tribal member of the Native Village of Kaltag, a shareholder of Doyon, Limited and a descendent of Gana-A’Yoo, Limited. She attended Dartmouth College where she graduated with Honors in Native American Studies in 2009. She will be graduating with her M.B.A from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016.

Currently, Agatha is the Director of Indigenous and Rural Affairs at Northern Compass Group in Anchorage Alaska. Prior to joining the private sector, Agatha served as the Rural Director for the Alaskans For Begich campaign, where she helped manage campaign field staff to get out the rural, urban, and Alaska native vote. Agatha was critical in implementing a first-of-its-kind grassroots effort across rural Alaska. Before joining the campaign, Agatha served as the Rural Liaison in Senator Begich’s Anchorage Office. She traveled extensively throughout rural Alaska and advised Sen. Begich on Alaska Native and rural policy. Like most Alaskans, Agatha enjoys spending time outdoors hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. She is an avid “urban” subsistence user, putting away her own fish and berries. She is always on the search for a bigger, better blueberry patch and when she finds it, she won’t be telling you.