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Judy Brady came to Alaska in l963 to work for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She said later that at the time she was disappointed that she had missed the fight for statehood, never guessing what was coming next. What was coming next was the giant Prudhoe Bay oil discovery on Alaska’s North Slope, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and the major environmental legislation of the l970s. Through the next 50 years, she would be involved in public policy decisions affected by all of these events.
Throughout Brady’s career, she has displayed leadership in pursuing issues she believed were important that influenced the course of our state’s history. During her work as a reporter for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, she became interested in Native land claim issues and Native education issues. She was invited to be a member of the Fairbanks Native Association board of directors and was later made an honorary lifetime member of the Association.
After the birth of her son, Steve, Brady worked as editor for the Tundra Times while the publisher/editor, Howard Rock, was on sabbatical. During that year she was awarded Best Editorial and Best Feature from the Alaska Press Club.
Initially under contract to edit economic and resource development studies, Brady was named editor of the Review of Business and Economic Conditions for the newly formed Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at University of Alaska in l967, during which she authored a review on “Alaska Native Claims Land Freeze,” among others.
After moving to Anchorage in l970, Brady was co-editor of the Alaska Native Management Report for the newly formed Alaska Native Foundation. Her twin daughters, Erin and Meghan, were born in Anchorage. In l974 the Secretary of the Interior appointed Brady as chief administrative judge of the newly formed U.S. Department of Interior’s Alaska Native Claims Appeals Board. The board was established to hear and decide appeals on land selection decisions arising under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Board decisions could be appealed to the federal courts, but were final for the Department of the Interior. The decisions determined title to thousands of acres of land contested by the newly formed Native corporations, the State of Alaska, federal agencies and individuals. Board decisions established legal precedent for future land conveyance decisions, including the definition of navigable waters.
The first year hearings were to decide whether or not challenged communities were villages under the definitions of the Claims Act. In some communities armed marshals were present at the hearings. Because the board was located outside of Washington, D.C., and because the board heard appeals from one of newest and most complicated land disposal acts the department had ever attempted to implement, Brady was also given the opportunity to advise the Secretary of Interior on issues requiring policy determination on matters not in front of the board. The board completed its work in 1982. That same year Commonwealth North co-chairs, former governors Walter Hickel and Bill Egan, selected Brady as the first woman executive director of the organization where she served until 1987. Brady returned in 1996 to serve as Commonwealth North’s first woman president.
Brady continued her public policy involvement by serving as commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (1987-89) under Gov. Steve Cowper. In this capacity she advised state leaders on key resource development policies. She brought that understanding to her role as executive director of the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, where she served until her retirement in 2007. She was known for her level approach to balancing the state’s rights with the leaseholders of the state’s oil and gas and did so with the respect of her colleagues and foes.
Brady’s list of community involvement, both professional and non-profit, is lengthy and includes many positions of leadership, including chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. In 2004 she was selected as one of only five women of the Top 25 Most Influential Business Leaders in Alaska by theAlaska Journal of Commerce the article about Brady begins, “. . . it may be easier to list the boards and organizations for which she has not served.” That multi-paged list includes non-profits and professional organizations in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau and many state-wide groups.
Current community involvement: ML&P Commissioner 2011-present,current chair; Mayor’s Energy Transition Team 2008, chair; Mayor’s Energy Task Force 2008-present, past chair and current member; Ted Stevens Airport Stakeholders’ Task Force 2005-present; Lumen Christi High School 2012-present, board member.
Prior community involvement (partial list): Alaska Command Advisory Board, member, 1992-2007; National Security Forum, Air Force War College, Alaska Representative 1993 & 1997; Woman of Achievement 1995; Anchorage Chamber Board, chair, 1992-1993; Commonwealth North, president, 1996; board member, Governor’s Task Force, Alaska Civil Justice Reform 1996; UAA School of Business Dean’s Executive Advisory Council, chair 1994-1996; Women Executives in State Government, national vice-chair 1987-1988; Interstate Oil Compact Commission, national vice chair 1988; First Interstate Bank of Alaska, board member 1987-2005; Alaska Pacific University Foundation, treasurer, 1994-1997; Alaska State Parks Foundation, board of trustees, 1994-1998; Governor’s Task Force, Alaska Civil Justice Report, 1996; Arctic Winter Games, board member, 1995-1996; Alaska Long Range Fiscal Planning Commission, vice chair, 1995; Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, commissioner, 1991-1992; McAuley House, board member, 1989-1992; President’s Roundtable, Alaska Pacific University 1988-1994; Anchorage Charter Review Commission, 1990; Alaska Marine Pilot’s Board, member, 1983-1986; Anchorage Port Commission, 1985-1987; Toastmasters, 1982-1987; Special Olympics Gymnastics Coach, l981-1985. Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts/Little League/PTA mom 1970 – 1982.
Community Recognition: Gold Pan Award, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Distinguished Community Service by an Individual 2006-2007; Anchorage Woman of Achievement 1995; Anchorage Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Society member 1997; Top 25 Most Influential Business Leaders, Alaska Journal of Commerce 2003 & 2004; Outstanding Service Contributions to the UAA School of Business 1996; Fairbanks Native Association, honorary lifetime member 1971; Who’s Who, American Colleges and Universities 1963.
Professional: Alaska Oil and Gas Association, executive director, 1993-2007; Alaska Municipal Bond Bank, executive director, 1989-1993; State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, commissioner, 1987-1989; Commonwealth North, executive director, 1982-1987; United States Department of Interior, Alaska Native Claims Appeals Board, chief administrative judge, 1973-1982; Alaska Native Management Report co-editor, Alaska Native Foundation, 1971-1973; Community Enterprises Development Corporation, research associate, 1970-1971; Institute of Social, Economic & Research, Alaska Review of Economic Conditions, editor, 1966-1970; Tundra Times, managing editor, 1966-1967; Fairbanks News Miner, reporter/news editor, 1963-1966.
Brady received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Seattle University. Her hobbies are swing dancing and biking. She has one son and twin daughters.
Key Players: Charting Alaska’s Future, The Anchorage Times, March 23, l992
Women of Alaska’s Oil Patch, Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, Spring 2001
Power Players, Alaska Business Monthly, June 2002
Oil, gas trade leader pushes permitting reform, Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, April 15, 2002
Working Women, Anchorage Daily News, August 30, 2004
Alaska’s Top 25 Most Influential Business Leaders, Alaska Journal of Commerce, July 2003; July 2004
Profiles in Leadership, 2000 ATHENA Society Directory, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
Judy Brady: Gas Line a Must, Alaska Business Monthly, March 2007
Induction ceremony acceptance speech https://youtu.be/0sN9sXj_VqA