Wackowski is new senior adviser for Interior Department

Steve Wackowski, who most recently managed the reelection campaign for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was named May 30 to be senior adviser for Alaska affairs to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Wackowski, a major in the Air Force Reserves, is an avid hunter and sport fisherman, who spent summers in his youth working in Ninilchik for his family’s halibut and salmon sportfishing business.

He has also served as staff on the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and as press secretary for the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Wackowski’s broad range of experience “will prove to be invaluable as the department focuses on future energy opportunities in Alaska, the welfare of Alaska Natives, and the vast expanses of lands and waters under Interior’s management,” Zinke said.

Wackowski grew up in Anchorage, graduated from Bartlett High School there, played division I-AA football at Saint Mary’s College, where he earned a degree in computer science, and a commission in the Air Force Reserve from UC-Berkeley’s Air Force ROTC program.

As a major in the reserve, he drills at Joint Base Elmendorf=Richardson at the 611th Air Operations Center. He also served on active duty tours in deployments to Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq.

After his last active duty tour, Wackowski moved home to Alaska to work as the remote sensing operations manager for Fairweather Science LLC in Anchorage. His work detecting and mapping maternal polar bear dens for oil and gas companies on Alaska’s North Slope was nationally recognized.