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USDA Announces Julia Hnilicka as Rural Development State Director for Alaska

Jo Cappeto
Anchorage, AK
Release Date

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Feb. 25, 2022 – President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint eleven U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including Julia Hnilicka as Rural Development (RD) State Director for Alaska.

“I am thrilled to welcome these talented and experienced public servants to USDA at a critical time in the Biden-Harris administration,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I look forward to working alongside these individuals to build a better America.”

Hnilicka was born and raised in rural Alaska and has resided for most of her life in her home village of Nenana. The daughter of a tugboat captain and an educator, her background instills a deep, lived understanding of the complexities of the issues facing rural residents. Her professional experience includes remote logistics, economic development, academic and environmental research, Indigenous studies, politics, education, and business management. Hnilicka’s recent run for Alaska State House, in the rural Interior district, activated her passion and drive for addressing the many persistent problems facing Alaska.

Hnilicka obtained her Master’s in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development. While seeking her degree, she traveled throughout Alaska, interfacing with a vast diversity of population and resources. Her decade-long workplace experience in managing a successful freight logistics business on the Yukon River gives her a unique awareness of the challenges that face rural Alaska. Her primary mission is to be a positive force in Alaska’s future, which drives her dedication to address the housing crisis, broadband for all, support for small businesses, and workforce development.

State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of Rural Development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ak.  


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