Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne has hired John Harmon as the new chancellor for the Archdiocese of Anchorage.
The former principal of Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage brings extensive business, legal and pastoral experience. He has also worked as a teacher, college president and Fortune 100 corporate attorney.
As chancellor Harmon will serve as Archbishop Etienne’s chief of staff, assisting the archdiocese in oversight of daily operations, various projects, planning and policy matters. He will also be responsible as a notary and record keeper of official archdiocesan documents.
“Because John grew up in Alaska, he is already familiar with the archdiocese, and is well known and respected by many, both within the church and the broader community,” Archbishop Etienne said in an official announcement about the hiring. “His sharp intellect, inquisitive mind and warm personality are just a few of the many gifts he brings to his new role, serving the entire Archdiocese of Anchorage, starting January 15, 2018.”
Harmon expressed excitement about his new post.
“Although I enjoyed the many years I practiced corporate law, I’ve discovered the amazing blessings of working for the church,” he said. “It is a place where diverse individuals can share their faith and love for Jesus and make an impact in the lives of others. Through God’s grace and guidance, I look forward to continuing to serve the Lord and our Catholic community.”
After three years leading Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage, Harmon stepped down in 2016 and spent a year of “adventure, reflection, and contemplation with travels to Australia, Africa, and Europe,” he said.
During that time he remained involved at Lumen Christi, and as a member of the Alaska State Board of Education.
“Due to my flexible schedule, I was blessed to remain actively involved with Lumen Christi as the International Program Coordinator, keeping up the student F-1 visa records in the Department of Homeland Security Student and Exchange Visitor Information System,” he said. “This fall I assumed a full time teaching position at Lumen to cover for a teacher on sabbatical.”
Harmon grew up in Alaska and is a graduate of Palmer High School. Prior to his time at Lumen, he practiced law. During his time as an attorney, Harmon also taught classes at Capital University and was a regular guest speaker at Ohio State University. He also served as a past president for Charter College in Alaska.
In 2015, Gov. Bill Walker tapped him to serve on the Alaska State Board of Education & Early Development for a five-year term. The board is responsible for establishing minimum qualifications for teachers, supervisors and directors, as well as selecting Alaska’s Commissioner of Education.