About the www.Alaskool.org project and its developers

William L. Hensley

Willie Hensley is Manager of Federal Government Relations for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the organization that operates and maintains the 800-mile Trans -Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). He has been with Alyeska for almost four years. He was appointed to head the Washington, D. C. office of Alyeska in August 1998.

Willie was born in Kotzebue, a small community in Northwest Alaska about 40 miles above the Arctic Circle. His family lived on the Noatak River delta and lived by hunting, fishing and trapping.

Prior to his employment with Alyeska, Hensley was appointed Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development by Governor Tony Knowles. As Commerce Commissioner, Hensley was responsible for state involvement in tourism and seafood marketing, international trade, insurance, banking and securities as well as occupational licensing. He also served on the Oil and Gas Policy Council, the Board of Directors of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the Alaska Railroad Corporation and the Alaska Industrial Development Authority.

Hensley was a founder of NANA Regional Corporation, served as a director for 20 years and concluded his career there as President. While at NANA, he directed its involvement in the oilfield services area, most specifically in the environmental services and drilling ventures. He was also active in the development of the world's largest lead and zinc mine, Red Dog. He was a founder of Maniilaq, the regional non-profit representing the tribes in the Kotzebue region, and was involved in the formation of the Alaska Federation of Natives and served as executive director, President and Co-Chairman.

Hensley wrote a paper in a constitutional law course at the University of Alaska in 1966 titled "What Rights to Land have the Alaska Natives: The Primary Issue" which encapsulated the land claims issue and provided the background that many Native Alaskans needed to take action to begin the land claims process.

Hensley graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D. C. with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Following graduation, Hensley was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives where he served four years and was elected to the Senate for a four-year term. He was appointed by Governor Steve Cowper to the Senate again in 1987. Hensley also served as Chairman of the Capitol Site Selection Committee under Governor Jay Hammond, Chairman of the Land Claims Task Force under Governor Walter Hickel.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Koahnic Broadcasting, a member of the Board of Trustees of Charter College and a member of the Board of Trustees of the First Alaskans Foundation.

On Alaskool by Willie Hensley:
"What Rights to Land Have the Alaska Natives?: The Primary Issue" - May 1966
at pre-ANCSA hearings - October 1969
Speech - "Why the Natives of Alaska Have a Land Claim" - November 1969
Bilingual Conference Speech - February, 1981
"The Founding and Formation of the Northwest Alaska Native Association" - March, 2000