Place of Birth: Sitka
Length of Residency in Alaska: Born, raised, and lifelong
Alaskan Communities Lived in: Sitka, 1989-present
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins represents Sitka and much of rural Southeast Alaska in the Alaska House of Representatives. At twenty-five years old, he is the youngest member of the legislature. He cares deeply for rural Alaska and the issues its small communities face.
Jonathan was born and raised in Sitka, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout while growing up. He attended Yale College for three years before leaving school early and without a degree to run for the Alaska Legislature.
A mountaineer, Jonathan summited El Muertito, a remote volcano on the Argentine-Chilean border, the highest unclimbed mountain in the Western Hemisphere, in 2011. He also coordinated an expedition that conclusively measured two previously unmeasured peaks on the Argentina-Chile border. He also spearheaded research to quantify glacial retreat on Baranof Island as a means to gauge the impact of climate change on climatically temperate glaciers.
Jonathan has started three programs that inject young people and energy into Sitka and have brought well over 100 young people to volunteer, work, or live in Sitka. He also helped start the Sitka Fellows Program, a multidisciplinary residency that brings up-and-coming artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs from around the world to Sitka for seven weeks to work on their projects.
Jonathan is also a musician. As part of a classical music trio, he has toured Southeast Alaska twice with funding awarded by the Rasmuson Foundation and has also performed as a soloist with the Juneau Symphony. Prior to the legislature, among other odd jobs, Jonathan worked as a substitute teacher, deckhand on various trollers, and interim manager of Sitka’s recycling program.