J.D., Former Alaskan State Legislator, Partner at Arctic Advocacy Group, Alaska
Throughout her distinguished career – most recently as a 16-year, elected official in the Alaskan State Legislature – Lesil McGuire has consistently exemplified what is possible through value- driven leadership. With a visionary approach grounded in stewardship, she was well recognized as a leader that could build consensus and find successful solutions out of partisan gridlock. She was the driving- force behind a series of governance solutions that now guide Arctic Policy in both Alaska, and the nation. She builds on that legacy as Founder of the consulting company, Inconnu Solutions.
Lesil McGuire’s successful methodology starts with a tireless commitment to gathering knowledge – not merely relevant data, but the perspectives of all involved. She then uses her leadership experience to connect the innovative spirit within organizations to unleash the potential to seize opportunities and respond to challenges. Lesil’s talent is in bridging between competing interests, generating the most optimum solutions and inspiring action. Consequently, shifting her methodology from public service to the private interests of her clients has been seamless. Simply navigating the complex legal and socio- political landscape that exists today will not suffice. Success in the long-term will require the ability to influence solutions that can weather the inevitable changes yet to come, and provide mutual benefit to all concerned.
Lesil graduated from Willamette University with an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and Political Science. Following her undergraduate studies, she went on to work in Washington D.C. for two years as a legislative and press aide for United States Senator, Ted Stevens. She subsequently obtained her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law while clerking in the United States Attorney’s Office in Oregon. She was a member of the Willamette Law review and a member of its editorial board. She studied at the Chinese institute of Law in Shanghai on an exchange and clerked for the United States Department of Justice. Her law degree was put to use when she came back to Alaska and worked for the firm of Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot in the corporate division.
Lesil began her work in the Alaska State Legislature as counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. At age 29 she was elected to the state House where she served three terms chairing committees all three terms and one term in majority leadership of the whole. In 2006, she was elected to the Senate where she served for ten years also chairing committees every term and in majority leadership of the whole as Rules Chairwoman.
During her tenure, she led the effort to craft Alaska’s first energy policy, Alaska’s first Arctic policy, to ease regulatory frameworks incentivizing independent power production, to create lending programs inside the states’ investment bank AIDEA , that led to increased development in energy projects bringing more affordable and reliable sources of power to Alaskans, to create some of the States’ first human trafficking laws, to create laws that afforded victims of crime, especially children, more rights and to help the state move to more negotiated rule making that brought private sector expertise to the table with policy makers so that laws were not created in a vacuum.
In her final term as Senator, Lesil served as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Co-Chair of the Arctic Policy Committee. She was honored to be selected for such prestigious recognitions as the Vice-President and first woman President of Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) and Chair of the Council of State Governments-WEST in 2007/08. She was a Henry Toll Fellow in 2003 and was selected as a German Marshall fellow from among her peer in 2008. From 2000 to 2003 she also served as the Anchorage Caucus Chair. She has served on boards for American Diabetes Association, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, Covenant House, Anchorage Republican Woman’s Club, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Civil Air Patrol, Traumatic Brain Injury Foundation, Fraternal Order of the Alaska State Troopers, and Special Olympics.