Mayor Michels Biography back  
Date of Record: July 19, 2011




Mrs. Michels was elected to serve as Mayor of the City of Nome, pop. 3731, in the October 2003 municipal election.  Born and raised in Nome, she is the first Alaskan Native to serve in this capacity, and the first woman elected to the post.  As chief executive officer, she works closely with an appointed city manager, the Nome City Council, and other elected and appointed boards and commissions.  The Mayor is the chief spokesperson for the City, representing community legislative priorities to the Alaska Legislature and the U.S. Congressional delegation.  She continues to focus on Arctic issues, public safety, community, economic and infrastructure development, and promotes bringing diverse groups and residents together.

The position of mayor in Nome can be characterized as a "full time job with part-time pay".  Mrs. Michels is employed as Director of Transportation by Kawerak, Inc., a Native non-profit service organization for the Bering Strait region.  In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategies for transportation and infrastructure. She represents Kawerak, Inc. on the Inuit Circumpolar Council for Alaska.

As a businesswoman, she has owned and operated several businesses in Nome. Mrs. Michels is an active participant in regional and statewide planning activities and currently is a member of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, representing coastal communities. She is a member of the Alaska Airlines Northwest Community Advisory Board and the Resource Development Council.

Mrs. Michels is a shareholder of Bering Straits Native Corporation, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, and is a Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Member.  She strongly believes in giving back to her community and has served on numerous boards and ad hoc committees.  She is a former member of the following: State of Alaska's Northern Waters Task Force, BLM's Resource Advisory Council, Chair of Governor Palin's Transition Team for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs,  Advisory Committee member of the Alaska Military Force Advocacy and Structure Team, stakeholder for DOTPF's Long Range Transportation Plan 2020 update, and member of the Governor's Sub Cabinet on Climate Change: Adaptation Advisory Work Group - Public Infrastructure, past President for the Alaska Municipal League and past President for the Alaska Conference of Mayors.

Contact the City

P.O. Box 281, 102 Division Street
Nome, AK 99762
  • Telephone Number: 907-443-6663
  • Facsimile Number: 907-443-5345
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