Gov names new commissioner of Department of Administration

Former deputy commissioner Paul Vrana to head department

Paula Vrana was appointed as the new Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office announced Thursday in a news release.

Vrana worked as an attorney for the law firm Brena, Bell and Clarkson, according to governor’s office, and has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Copper River Native Association and Executive Director of Hospice of Anchorage. She had served as deputy commissioner of the department since January 2019, the governor’s office said.

[Deputy commissioner to fill in for Tshibaka]

Dunleavy’s previous administration commissioner, Kelley Tshibaka, left in March when she announced she was running to unseat U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in the 2022 election. Since then deputy commissioner Amanda Holland has been acting head of DOA. Holland’s last day was Thursday, according to the governor’s office.

“From the Public Defenders Agency to the Department of Motor Vehicles, (Vrana) has the experience and judgement to keep state government running smoothly,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “I also want to thank Amanda Holland for coming out of retirement to serve the people of Alaska during this transitional period.”

Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.