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Biography
State of Alaska > Governor > Biography


The Palin Family in Juneau (2007)
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Governor Palin's Official Portrait
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About the Governor

Governor Sarah Palin made history on Dec. 4, 2006 when she took office. As the 11th governor of Alaska, she is the first woman to hold the office.

Since taking office, her top priorities have been resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.

Under her leadership, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program that provides support for low-income older Alaskans. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.

During her first legislative session, Governor Palin’s administration passed two major pieces of legislation – an overhaul of the state’s ethics laws and a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline.

Governor Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also serves as vice chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.

Prior to her election as governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor/manager of Wasilla. During her tenure, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and made Wasilla a business friendly environment drawing in new industry.


She has served as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska's most valuable non-renewable resources: oil and gas. She was elected by her peers to serve as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. In this role, she worked with local, state and federal officials to promote solutions to the needs of Alaska's communities.


Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964, when her parents came to teach school in Skagway. She received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. Palin, who graduated from Wasilla High School in 1982, has lived in Skagway, Eagle River and Wasilla.

She is married to Todd Palin, a lifelong Alaskan, a production operator on the North Slope and a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmachine race.

Todd and Sarah fish in Bristol Bay with their children – Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper. Through Todd’s Yup'ik grandmother, Alaska’s Native heritage plays an important role in their family. Track enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 2007.

Prior to taking office, Palin served on numerous boards and commissions throughout the state. She was active in her family’s pursuits – including serving as a sports team mom and school volunteer. She also runs marathons.

Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA and enjoys hunting, fishing, Alaska history, and all that Alaska's great outdoors has to offer.


Todd Palin and Scott Davis, team 22, cross the finish line in Fairbanks on Feb. 17, 2007 to win the 2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog. Palin has won the world’s longest snowmachine race four times. Photo by Michael Collins.




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