Valerie Davidson

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Valerie Davidson
13th Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
In office
October 16, 2018 – December 3, 2018
GovernorBill Walker
Preceded byByron Mallott
Succeeded byKevin Meyer
Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
In office
December 1, 2014 – October 16, 2018
GovernorBill Walker
Preceded byWilliam Streur
Succeeded byJay Butler
Personal details
Born (1967-05-19) May 19, 1967 (age 52)
Bethel, Alaska, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Independent (2018)
EducationUniversity of Alaska Southeast (BA)
University of New Mexico (JD)

Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson[nb 1] (born May 19, 1967 in Bethel, Alaska[2]) is an American politician who briefly served as lieutenant governor of Alaska, from October to December 2018. She was sworn in after Byron Mallott's abrupt resignation from the post on October 16, 2018.

Early and personal life[edit]

Davidson was born in Bethel, Alaska. Her mother is of Yup'ik origin, and her father is originally from Port Orchard, Washington.[1] She grew up both in Bethel and the nearby Aniak. Davidson is an enrolled tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council.[3]

In 1992, Davidson graduated from University of Alaska Southeast with a Bachelor of Education.[4] Davidson also holds a degree in law from the University of New Mexico, obtained in 1998.[5][4][2] After she graduated, she worked as a lawyer for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.[2]


Davidson has previously served as Senior Director of Legal & Intergovernmental Affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium,[4] and as Chair of the Tribal Technical Advisory Group to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for ten years.[6] Part of her work there included getting veterans in rural areas access to healthcare through tribal clinics, and creating rural dental clinic programs employing mid-level dental professionals to improve access to dental care.[7]

In December 2014, Davidson was appointed Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.[8][7] During her tenure there, the she worked on Alaska's Medicaid expansion alongside Governor Walker.[2]

On October 16, 2018, Davidson was sworn in as lieutenant governor after an emergency cabinet meeting in the wake of Byron Mallott's resignation.[9] She is Alaska’s first female Alaska Native lieutenant governor.[10] Upon being sworn in, she briefly became the running mate of incumbent Governor Bill Walker in his 2018 re-election campaign before he dropped out of the race on October 19.[11][12]


  1. ^ Nurr'araaluk is part of Davidson's Yup'ik name. Her full Yup'ik name is Nurr'araaluk Amillamarnan.[1] Nurr'araaluk is also shortened to Nurrii.[2]


  1. ^ a b Annie, Feldt (October 17, 2018). "Lt. Gov. Davidson delivers first public speech in new position". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fishing, Cooking And A Yup'ik Upbringing Made Alaska's Health Commissioner". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. September 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Valerie "Nurr'araaluk" Davidson". CTSE. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson Resume" (PDF). Alaska Legislature official website. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Lieutenant Governor Valerie Davidson". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Alaska Lieutenant Governor Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson". State of Alaska Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b DeMarban, Alex (17 October 2018). "Valerie Davidson, Alaska's new lieutenant governor, has a long history fighting for Native issues". Anchorage Daily News. Anchorage, Alaska. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  8. ^ "AFN Announces Keynote Speaker for 2018 Convention". Anchorage, Alaska: Alaska Federation of Natives. September 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  9. ^ Kitchenman, Andrew (16 October 2018). "Updated: Lt. Gov. Mallott resigns after 'inappropriate comments'". KTOO. Alaska Public Media. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  10. ^ James Brooks. "New lieutenant governor opens Alaska Federation of Natives conference". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  11. ^ Zak, Annie (16 October 2018). "Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott abruptly resigns following "inappropriate comments"". Anchorage Daily News. Anchorage, Alaska.
  12. ^ Kelly, Caroline (October 19, 2018). "Alaska Gov. Bill Walker suspends re-election bid". CNN. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Byron Mallott
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
Succeeded by
Kevin Meyer