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Memories & Mileposts: Vision

1997: Willie Hensley joins Alyeska, contributing to industry and Alaska

Alaska State Library, Alaska State Library Portrait File.
Alaska State Library, Alaska State Library Portrait File. Photographs. ASL., ASL-P01-4686 In the Fall of 1970, then Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel met with Prominent figures in the Alaska Land Claims dispute in his Washington office. Clockwise from far left: Wally Hickel; Tim Wallis, President Fairbanks Native Association; Charles (Etok) Edwardson, Executive Director Arctic Slope Native Association; Eben Hopson, Barrow; Emil Notti; Attorney Barry Jackson (standing); State Senator William Hensley; Alfred Ketzler, Nenana; Barbara Trigg, Nome unknown; Delois Ketzler; Harvey Samuelson, Dillingham; George Miller, Kenai; unknown; State Senator Ray C. Christiansen (far right); Frank Degnan, Unalakleet; Moses Paukan; Morris Thompson; John Borbridge (back to camera).

William L. “Willie” Hensley (Inupiaq name Iġġiaġruk) took on the role of Alaska Native Program Manager at Alyeska on October 28, 1997. It wasn’t long until he brought his previous extensive knowledge and experience from his involvement with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the establishment of the Alaska Federation of Natives and NANA Regional Corporation to make an impact in his new role. From 1998-2008, Hensley spent his time between Washington D.C. and Alaska as Alyeska’s Federal Government and Relations Manager.

After retiring from Alyeska, he didn’t stop advocating for Alaska Native policy. Until recently, Hensley taught at the University of Alaska Department of Business and Public Policy and found time to publish his autobiography, Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People.

Willie is currently enjoying retirement, but still finds time to speak about Alaska and TAPS history while sharing his perspective on current issues. He recently took time to sit down with First Alaskans Institute and Alyeska leadership to discuss Alyeska’s unique relationship between Alaska Native regions and TAPS.


1999: Lisa Booth: From intern to CFO

2013: Tom Barrett — coming soon

2021: Danika Yeager