John Pugh was appointed Chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast on August 2, 1999. He serves the University of Alaska with fellow chancellors Brian Rogers at UAF and Tom Case at UAA, under the leadership of President Patrick Gamble. He came to the university after a 15-year career with the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, serving as Commissioner of that department from 1983 to 1986.
Chancellor Pugh's educational background is in philosophy and social work. He holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a former captain in the US Air Force and served three years at the Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital in Anchorage.
Chancellor Pugh has participated in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as State Representative for Alaska since 2000. He is the former chair of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (now Education Northwest) and for eleven years was a trustee of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. Since 2009, he has served on the Board of Commissioners of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the regional accrediting organization for 163 educational institutions in the U.S. Northwest and Alaska.
John Pugh strongly believes in service to his community. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC) and continues to serve as Vice-Chair. He is a past-president of the Gastineau Rotary Club, where he remains an enthusiastic Rotary Bulb fundraiser and will chair the Membership Committee in 2013-14. In 2011, he was appointed to the Alaska Airlines Southeast Community Advisory Board and continues to serve in that capacity.