Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer started her career in Alaska politics and government almost as soon as she arrived in Alaska in 1973. She was soon hired by former Governor Jay Hammond as one of his key political advisors, serving first as his legislative liaison and then as the director of Policy Development. At the same time, she was an active volunteer in many local community organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Salvation Army and the March of Dimes, and served as chair of the local Planning Commission.
In 1983, Fran was elected Mayor of Juneau and was subsequently elected the first chair of the U.S. Conference of Women Mayors. Following her tenure as Juneau's mayor, the Lieutenant Governor was elected to the first of four terms in the House of Representatives where she successfully sponsored dozens of bills on a wide variety of issues: victim rights, criminal penalties, recycling,criminal justice, health, education and children's well-being. In her final term, she served as Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
The Lt. Governors duties include supervision of the Division of Elections, signing and filing of regulations; production of the Administrative Journal, central registration and supervision of notaries, all matters related to use of the official state seal; and serving as chair of the Alaska Historical Commission.
She is chair of the Telecommunications Information Council which is responsible for establishing policies and standards for voice, video and data systems in state government. Lt. Governor Ulmer is also the Governor's representative and chair to the Alaska Public Utility Commission's Alaska 2001 Advisory Committee, which is exploring the new ways telephone, cable television companies and computerization are delivering information to Alaska consumers. Lt. Governor Ulmer has also been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation Board. She headed the Administration's transition effort and sits on many internal advisory groups which helps the Governor make decisions for the state operating and capital budgets.
Fran Ulmer grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where she learned to love the outdoors. Fran Ulmer started studying voice at the age of 15 at the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music. Since then she has studied with various voice teachers--from Madison, Wisconsin and Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska.
A mezzo-soprano, Lieutenant Governor Ulmer was cast in many summer stock roles in college and is comfortable singing everything from opera to popular music. Among the many singing engagements over the years, these are the most memorable:
Alaska's first woman Lieutenant Governor brings a close family circle to her new job. Fran is married to Juneau Attorney, Bill Council and is the mother of two teenagers, Amy and Louis.
Governor Knowles has appointed Lieutenant Governor Ulmer to the following committees:
You can e-mail Lt. Governor Ulmer at: Fran_Ulmer@Gov.state.ak.us You can also read some excerpts from a speech given to the "Women Moving to the Top" Conference April 8, 1997 - Grace Bretheren Church, Anchorage.
© Copyright 1997 Elizabeth Beckett and Sarah Teel
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