CIRI welcomes new CEO and President to lead the next phase of growth


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, October 10 – CIRI, an Alaska Native Corporation, is pleased to announce the CIRI Board of Directors has appointed Swami Iyer as CEO and promoted Chief Strategy Officer, Sarah Lukin, to the role of President.

“Our Board decided to split CIRI leadership into two positions, CEO and President. This change will help CIRI foster growth and have a positive impact on the services we provide to our Shareholders, Descendants, and the 60,000 Alaska Natives and American Indians that reside in our region,” said Doug Fifer, Chair of the CIRI Board of Directors.

CIRI’s new leaders bring with them a wealth of experience and a proven track record of driving innovation and growth.

CIRI’s new CEO, Swami Iyer, most recently served as the President of Aerospace Systems at Virgin Galactic, LLC and has 25 years of experience in commercial, aerospace, defense, and cyber industries, including serving as the South Asia and Oceania Chief for the Deputy Under Secretary, International Affairs at the Air Force.

With more than 20 years’ experience working with indigenous businesses across the U.S. and Canada, Ms. Lukin has served as CIRI’s Chief Strategy Officer the last two years. She has experience in Alaska Native Corporations 8(a) government contracting, private equity, business development, and government relations. Ms. Lukin, an Alaska Native corporation Shareholder and enrolled Tribal member, remains committed to ensuring CIRI’s diverse Alaska Native cultures, programs and benefits, and the Company’s values remain at the forefront of all we do as she continues to serve a critical role in the development and execution of CIRI’s overall business strategy and operations.

Mr. Iyer and Ms. Lukin together succeed Sophie Minich, who has led the company with exceptional dedication and vision for the past 10 years. Ms. Minich’s commitment and expertise have been invaluable in delivering results for CIRI’s Shareholders, whose well-being is the Corporation’s highest priority.

“It’s an honor to join CIRI as its new CEO,” said Mr. Iyer. “I am committed to building upon the strong foundation laid by Ms. Minich, the Board of Directors, and the entire CIRI team. Together, we will continue to deliver exceptional results and drive innovation to meet the needs of our stakeholders.”

“I want to express my appreciation to the Board for entrusting me with this role. I’m very excited to continue to lead such a talented and dedicated team as CIRI’s new President,” added Ms. Lukin.

The seamless leadership transition reflects the meticulous succession planning and commitment to stability that defined CIRI’s corporate strategy as it began a search for new leadership. The Board of Directors has full confidence in both Mr. Iyer and Ms. Lukin’s ability to lead the Company to new opportunities and continued success.


Cook Inlet Region, Inc., also known as CIRI, is one of 12 land-based Alaska Native regional corporations created pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). CIRI’s regional boundaries roughly follow the traditional Dena’ina territory of Southcentral Alaska. CIRI was incorporated on June 8, 1972, and is owned today by a diverse group of more than 9,200 Shareholders who live in Alaska and throughout the world. 

CIRI’s Board of Directors is an entirely Alaska Native, 15-member board.  All CIRI Board members are voting CIRI Shareholders, elected by their fellow CIRI Shareholders to govern the Corporation and advance its goals — to provide for CIRI’s Shareholders and Descendants economically, socially, and culturally in perpetuity.