Today, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced the forthcoming departures of Municipal Attorney Becky Windt Pearson and Chief of Staff Ona Brause.
Windt Pearson, who has been with the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) since 2017, will assume the role of General Counsel for GCI on Feb.1, 2020. During her time as Municipal Attorney, Windt Pearson led a team of over 45 attorneys and support staff and was instrumental in crafting and advancing the pending sale of Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) to Chugach Electric. “Becky has distinguished herself with her skills, professionalism and her commitment to Anchorage,” said Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. “She is exceptionally talented and the kind of strategic, compassionate thinker that makes Alaska an even better place to live.
We will miss her a great deal.” Deputy Municipal Attorney Dee Ennis will serve as acting Municipal Attorney beginning Feb. 1. Ennis has served in the MOA’s Department of Law for over ten years and has previous experience leading the Department as acting Municipal Attorney.
Also departing in February is Chief of Staff Ona Brause. Brause, who has been a member of the Berkowitz Administration for four and a half years, served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Berkowitz from 2015 to 2017, and was promoted to Chief of Staff in 2017. During her tenure with the MOA, Brause has served in a leadership role on projects that focused on energy efficiency, resilience, homelessness, intergovernmental affairs, and revenue diversification. Like Windt Pearson, Brause played a pivotal role in leading the MOA through the largest pending public utility sale in the state’s history. “Ona has exceeded every expectation at every turn. Beyond being a great Chief of Staff, she has been a real leader to Anchorage and an incredible friend to all those privileged enough to work with her,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “I know the wind will stay at her back and sunshine on her face.”
Jason Bockenstedt, who has served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Berkowitz since 2017, will assume the role of Chief of Staff in January. Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff two years ago, Bockenstedt served as the public information officer for the MOA’s Department of Project Management and Engineering for two years. He also worked as the Manager of Federal and State Government Affairs for GCI, and served as Deputy Staff Director and as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee for almost ten years. Bockenstedt earned a J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and holds a B.S. in History from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. “Jason brings great energy, keen insight and an ability to inspire others and get the job done,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “He has made the Mayoral team stronger, and I have the highest confidence that he will take us as far as we can go.”