Joe Balash

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Joe Balash
Joe Balash.jpg
Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources
Incumbent (Acting)
In office
September 25, 2013 - present
Base salary$135,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedSeptember 25, 2013
Appointed byGovernor of Alaska Sean Parnell (R)
Term limitsN/A
High schoolBen Eielson High School
Bachelor'sPacific University
Office website
Joe Balash is the current Acting Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources. He was appointed by Governor Sean Parnell on September 25, 2013, filling the vacancy left by former officeholder Daniel S. Sullivan's resignation. Balash was the Deputy Commissioner at the time of his appointment, and he will serve in an interim capacity until the governor can find a permanent successor to Sullivan. Any appointment will be subject to confirmation by the state legislature.[1]

Alaska commissioners of natural resources serve unfixed terms at the pleasure of the sitting governor.[2] On September 11, 2013, Sullivan announced he was stepping down from the commissioner's post. In his resignation letter to Gov. Parnell, Sullivan cited vague plans "to explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life."[3] Sullivan's decision underlined preexisting speculation that the nonpartisan commissioner was preparing to launch a campaign for the 2014 Republican nomination to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.[4] Sullivan's resignation became effective September 24, 2013 and Balash was appointed to take over the position the following day.


Balash was raised in an Air Force family. He attended Ben Eileson High School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Balash graduated with his bachelor's degree in political science and government from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.[1]

Balash previously served in the governor's office as special assistant on energy and natural resource development. Prior to that, he worked on the joint Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. He also served as Chief of Staff to the Senate President.


  • Ben Eileson High School
  • B.A. in political science and government - Pacific University

Political career

Acting Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources (2013-present)

Balash was appointed acting commissioner by Governor Sean Parnell on September 25, 2013 immediately following the resignation of Daniel S. Sullivan.



Balash was appointed Acting Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources on September 25, 2013 by Governor Sean Parnell.


Balash is married and has two daughters.[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel S. Sullivan
Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources
Succeeded by