Congratulations to CIRI Board Vice Chair Margaret “Margie” L. Brown (Yup’ik), who received a fall 2019 honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Recipients are chosen for their significant and lasting contribution to the university, the state of Alaska and/or their discipline or profession. Brown was honored at a commencement ceremony Dec. 15 in Anchorage.
Brown began her career with CIRI in 1976 as an assistant land planner and held numerous positions with the company, including serving as president and CEO from 2005 to 2013. She is a former member of the boards of Alaska Communications Group Inc. and Alaska Communications Systems Holding Inc. and served as chair of the Student Conservation Association Board of Directors. She has also served as vice chair of the National Museum of the American Indian Board of Trustees and currently serves as a member of the Alaska Airlines Advisory Board. Brown served on the CIRI Board from 1984-1987 and 2002-2005. She was elected Director for a fourth time in 2019.
In the mid-1970s, Brown helped implement the Cook Inlet Land Exchange, considered to be one of the largest land-exchange deals in U.S. history. As CIRI’s president and CEO, she was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s corporate strategies, as well as overseeing business operations and serving as the primary contact for the company’s many stakeholders. Brown’s interest in renewable energy led CIRI to greatly expand its renewable energy footprint throughout the U.S., including constructing the Fire Island Wind Project in Alaska.
Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado. She is a YWCA Women of Achievement recipient (1992), an Alaska Business Hall of Fame laureate (2009), winner of United Way’s Tocqueville Community Service Award (2011), and recipient of the Anchorage Athena Society’s Leadership award (2012) and the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Business Leader of the Year award (2013).