She represented all tribes over a period that spanned the terms of several Secretaries of Health & Human Services and under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Valerie “Nurr’araaluk” Davidson is the newly appointed Commissioner of Health and Social Services in the administration of Governor Bill Walker. She also has bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in special education from the University of Alaska Southeast.
Davidson is an enrolled tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) and has worked for over 15 years as a national policy maker on matters affecting Indian health. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Legal and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, where she represented Alaska Native health needs at federal and state levels.
Davidson served as Chair of the Tribal Technical Advisory Group to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from its inception in 2004 until August 2014. She represented all tribes over a period that spanned the terms of several Secretaries of Health & Human Services and under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Davidson was also the spokesperson, chief political and legal strategist for ANTHC’s Dental Health Aide Therapy Program, the country’s first mid-level dental program.
Davidson served for 11 years as the Technical Co-Lead Negotiator of the Alaska Tribal Health Compact and served on a team to negotiate agreements with the Veterans Administration that allow rural veterans to seek care in their home communities. She negotiated a tri-party agreement to streamline rural sanitation construction projects with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State of Alaska and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Davidson has served as Chair of The Foraker Group, Chair of the Alaska Commission on Children and Youth, and a member of the Alaska Health Care Commission. She currently serves on the U.S. Department of Justice Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence and as a Trustee of the First Alaskans Institute.
Davidson earned her juris doctorate, with a certificate in Indian law, from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in bilingual education from University of Alaska Southeast. Davidson, a Yup’ik, was born in Bethel.