Ted Mala joined Rasmuson Foundation in March 2021 as a Program Team fellow to support grantmaking. Though he grew up in California, he has a lifelong connection to our state. His grandfather, Ray Wise, was Alaska’s first movie star, adopting the last name Mala after his leading role in the 1933 Oscar winning film “Eskimo.” His grandfather later was named one of the Top Ten Most Memorable Alaskans by Time magazine. As a boy, Ted spent time each year in Alaska and traveled the state with his father, Dr. Ted Mala, the first Alaska Native man to earn a medical degree and the first Alaska Native to serve as state commissioner of health and social services. Ted Jr. is Iñupiaq, a NANA shareholder and Native Village of Buckland tribal member.
Twenty years ago in his first Alaska job, Ted served on the Southcentral Foundation team that helped to launch the Family Wellness Warriors Initiative to combat domestic violence, abuse and neglect. After working in California, he returned to Alaska in 2010 and after multiple promotions, served as senior director of business development for NANA Management Services. In 2019, he rejoined Southcentral Foundation as special assistant/congressional liaison for then-President/CEO Katherine Gottlieb.
During the Obama administration, Ted was one of two shareholders invited to represent NANA at a White House Tribal Nations Conference. Ted previously served on the board of directors of the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association, or AMIPA, and the State of Alaska Board of Pharmacy.
Ted likes to spend time with family in the NANA region and camp on the Kenai Peninsula with his wife and in-laws. He and his wife, Cathleen, live in Anchorage with their English bulldogs.
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