Gov. Tony Knowles said July 12 he has accepted the resignation of Department of Natural Resources Commissioner John Shively.
Shively, who has been DNR commissioner for six years, will step down effective Sept. 8. Shively told department employees that he was stepping down in order to spend more time with his family.
"As some of you know, I have wrestled for some time with the conflict between my commitments to the job of commissioner, which I love, and my family, whom I love," Shively said in a memo to DNR employees. "The conflict has arisen because of the substantial amount of time I have to spend away from home and after a great deal of soul searching, I have decided that it is time for me to devote more time to my family.
"This decision did not come easily," Shively said. "If I had listened only to my nine-year-old daughter, I would have left some time ago. If I had thought only about the people and the issues at DNR, I might have tried to stay forever."
Knowles appointed Shively as DNR Commissioner in January of 1995. A former VISTA volunteer who went on to work for RuralCAP, the Alaska Federation of Natives, United Bank Alaska, NANA Development Corp., and the Administration of Gov. Bill Sheffield, Shively brought to the job 30 years of public and private sector experience in Alaska.
"The past six years have witnessed a revitalization of the oil and mining industries in Alaska; the opening of new oil reserves like NPRA; and steady progress toward the commercialization of our natural gas," Knowles said. "John Shively has been an integral part of that progress and throughout his term he has consistently worked for Alaska's best interests, for Alaska jobs and businesses, and a commitment to making sure that in developing Alaska, we do it right."
During his term, Knowles also named Shively to the Permanent Fund Board of Trustees, called upon him as a lead negotiator on tribal issues, and tapped his years of private and public sector experience in a number of other fields. "John's dedication, stewardship, and hard work are deeply appreciated," Knowles said. "He has been a trusted friend and advisor, and served Alaska with distinction." Shively's almost six years as commissioner of DNR was second only to the department's first commissioner, Phil Holdsworth, who served eight years.