Michael J. Burns, former executive director/CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, has died at age 68.
Mr. Burns died at his home in Juneau on July 16. He joined the $54 billion sovereign wealth fund in August 2004 and retired June 1 because of health concerns. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“Mike led the corporation to achieve unprecedented growth during a time of great economic difficulty. I can say without a doubt that every Alaskan owes him a debt of gratitude, and that his leadership will be missed by many,” Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said in a news release. “(My wife) Donna and I are praying for the entire Burns family, and anyone who had the great pleasure of calling Mike a friend.”
Mr. Burns also served several terms as chairman of the board of regents at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and as a board trustee at the University of Alaska Foundation. Prior to his time at the permanent fund, he was president of Alaska Pacific Bank.
Valerie Mertz, the permanent fund’s chief financial officer, is serving as acting executive director/CEO while the fund seeks a replacement.
Mr. Burns is survived by his wife, Rebecca, four children and four grandchildren.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., in Mr. Burns’ name, or to a charity of choice. A memorial service will be arranged sometime in the future.
Permanent fund spokeswoman Laura Achee did not return a phone call by press time.