Mayor announces new Anchorage Health Department Director

Mayor's Corner

ANCHORAGE, AK – Today, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced the forthcoming departure of Anchorage Health Department (AHD) Director Natasha Pineda and appointment of Heather Harris as the new Director.

“Natasha has been amazing. She reenergized and reorganized the AHD, has been a leader in the response to the earthquake and COVID, and been a powerful voice for public health," said Mayor Berkowitz. “I appreciate that she stayed on long past the time she agreed to serve.  I also have her phone number, so we know how to find her when we need her.  All of Anchorage should be thankful that she applied her talents and heart to making us safer."

Heather Harris joins the MOA as the Director of the AHD. She is an alumna of the University of Alaska Anchorage and has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Heather has dedicated her career to serving our community, with particular focus on children, homelessness, disease prevention, and disaster response. She is originally from Homer, Alaska, and is committed to the long-term health of Anchorage residents.

“Heather brings new energy to AHD at a critical time," said Mayor Berkowitz. “I have full confidence in her natural leadership and strong public health background to guide the Department through this pandemic, while at the same time ensuring that it fulfills its many responsibilities.  I look forward to working with her."

Heather begins work on August 24, 2020.


Media contact: Carolyn Hall, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor, (907) 343-7103,

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