For Immediate Release
Aug. 13, 2020
Contact: Lisa Demer, 907-545-3555 (cell)
Rasmuson Foundation is pleased to announce two changes on our team. We’ve added a new senior fellow to lead a pandemic-response project, and one of our program officers is taking on a new role.
Join us in welcoming Ukallaysaaq T. Okleasik as our second senior fellow, a newly created position for a project being funded jointly with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Denali Commission. His role is to coordinate the Alaska PPE Resource Links Project that works to support availability of personal protective equipment and supplies for key organizations that may be having difficulty. The project is being done in partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health.
Okleasik will help create a system that links PPE resources with nonprofit agencies and other organizations across Alaska. Currently, he is identifying needs and gaps through surveys of groups such as behavioral health providers and childcare providers. He also is identifying manufacturers and suppliers. The vision is to advance public health by linking PPE resources — masks, gloves, sanitizer, cleaning supplies and the like — with service providers.
He joined the Foundation in June with a long track record of leadership roles in Northwest Alaska communities. He has served as a vice president of Kawerak Inc., planning director of the Northwest Arctic Borough and executive director of the Native Village of Kotzebue. Earlier in his career, he worked for the University of Alaska and Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
Okleasik also owns Northwest Planning and Grants Development, a consulting firm in Nome, and until May served as vice president of Natural Resources, Shareholder and Corporate Relations for Sitnasuak Native Corp. in Nome, where he is from. He is Inupiaq. He also is honored with a Tlingit name, Duk’aan.
“We are beyond pleased to have Ukallaysaaq on our team doing this critical work,” said Alexandra McKay, Foundation vice president of programs. “He is knowledgeable, committed and connected. He already is surveying key groups to determine needs. We want to prevent situations that were so common in the spring, when so many organizations scrambled for essentials, critical workers had trouble getting masks and places like senior care homes ran out of bleach.”
Within the Foundation, Roy Agloinga is joining the External Affairs Team as a program officer. Agloinga has served five years on the Foundation’s Program Team, which is responsible for grantmaking. His work will shift from working with Alaska grantees to working with Alaska partners on funding collaborations and with Outside funders to encourage giving in Alaska. During the pandemic, he will work to align the interests of outside funders with critical needs of Alaska nonprofits.
In his previous role, Agloinga oversaw a grants portfolio as well as a partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts to distribute arts and culture awards. He managed the Foundation’s Sabbatical Program, which provides needed respite for nonprofit and tribal CEOs. He also developed a partnership with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce to improve diversity among its members and to support businesses with owners from underrepresented populations.
Agloinga, who is Inupiaq, originally is from White Mountain in the Bering Strait region. His experience includes rural health administration, Inupiaq language preservation, education and training, and government policy. He currently serves on the Alaska Federation of Natives board as the representative of Bering Strait villages. Previously he has served as a health corporation board member, tribal administrator and White Mountain mayor.
“Roy is a treasured thought leader. He is unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom and seeks out partnerships and ways to help Alaska nonprofits, tribal organizations and local governments. We are so proud to have him join our team,” said Angela Cox, Foundation vice president of external affairs.
About the Foundation
Through grantmaking and initiatives, Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans. Main funding areas are housing, homelessness, education, health care, the arts and organizational and community development. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, E.A. Rasmuson.