Anchorage Mayor LaFrance announces 6 new executive hires

A woman speaks at a podium.
Suzanne LaFrance, Anchorage’s newly elected Mayor, gives her closing remarks at her swearing-in ceremony at Town Square Park in Anchorage on Monday, July 1,2024. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Suzanne LaFrance has announced six new executive appointments. 

In a statement, LaFrance said Barbara Jones will be deputy chief of staff. Jones previously served as Anchorage municipal clerk before retiring last year. She has also worked as the municipal ombudsman and as executive director and staff attorney for the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission. Jones joins LaFrance’s previously announced chief of staff Katie Scovic.

fair haired woman with glasses
Former Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones will serve as deputy chief of staff for Mayor Suzanne LaFrance. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

LaFrance has also hired Farina Brown as special assistant on homelessness and health and Graham Downey as special assistant on transportation and housing. Brown previously worked at Rasmuson Foundation on the group’s homelessness initiatives while Downey was economic justice lead at the Alaska Public Interest Research Group.

Nolan Klouda will serve as a policy advisor, directing LaFrance’s staff to implement the mayor’s priorities. Klouda has led the University of Alaska’s Center for Economic Development for a decade. 

A man in a plaid suit talking.
Nolan Klouda, Executive Director for UAA’s Center for Economic Development, discusses Project Anchorage at the Peterson Tower on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Marie Husa has been hired by the LaFrance administration to serve as constituent relations director, while Amanda Moser will be head of external affairs. Husa is an equal rights investigator who worked at Bering Straits Native Corporation while Moser previously served as the executive director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and as communications director for former Gov. Bill Walker. 

These positions are not subject to Assembly approval, a LaFrance spokeswoman said. 

LaFrance took office on Monday, and had previously announced the hiring of Sean Case as chief of police, Eva Gardner as municipal attorney, Becky Windt Pearson as municipal manager and Bill Falsey as chief administrative officer. 

RELATED: Suzanne LaFrance sworn in as first woman elected Anchorage mayor

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Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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