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Committee/Member Information

Bettye Davis
1991-1996 Representative District  
2001-2012 Senator District

Born May 17, 1938, Bettye Davis is among Alaska’s top advocates of Children, Education, Health and Social issues. Born in Homer, Louisiana Davis grew up in Louisiana, earning her nursing degree from St. Anthony’s College. Davis attended Grambling State University where she received her BSW in 1971 and worked as an Assistant Director at the YWCA in San Bernardino, California from 1971 to 1972. Davis arrived in Anchorage, Alaska in 1972 and pursued her higher education at the University, Alaska Anchorage. Davis began her career in family services working at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute as a Nurse and Social Worker from 1972 to 1975. From 1975 to 1989, Davis worked in various positions within the Department of Health and Social Services: Childcare Specialist, Social Worker and Foster Care Coordinator.

Davis began her long political career when she was elected to the Anchorage School Board from 1982 to 1990 - serving two terms as board president. Davis became the first African-American woman elected to serve in the Alaska State House of Representatives. Davis served three terms (1990-1996). After an unsuccessful bid to the Alaska State Senate in 1996, Davis was re-elected to the Anchorage School Board and appointed to the State Board of Education in 1997. Davis also served as the president of the National Association of Black School Board Members and the president of the Alaska Black Leadership Conference. In 2000, Davis became the first African-American to be elected to the Alaska State Senate. Davis continues to serve in the Alaska State Senate and remains the "Conscious of the Legislature" - passing legislation that influences education, social issues and economic development.

Locally, Davis served on the Alaska Healthcare Strategy Council (2007-2008); Alaska 2000 Education Project; the Governor’s Task Force on Tolerance (2000-2001); and the Governor’s Commission on Youth and Justice (1995-96). Nationally, Davis serves as a Board Member for Women In Government; Treasurer, National Association of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL)/Women; State Director, WiLL (Women’s Legislative Lobby); Legislative Advisory Committee Member, WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education); Vice Chair, National Conference of State Legislators - Health Committee; and the Interstate Commission on Higher Education Legislative Advisory Board. Davis also served as Energy Chair for both the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the National Foundation for Women Legislators.

Senator Davis is the recipient of countless awards to include, but not limited to: 2010 Pioneer Woman of the Year, Business and Professional Women (BPW) - North to the Future; 2010 Celebrate Liberty Award, Alaska Civil Liberties Union of Alaska; 2010 Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, Alaska Women’s Network; Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation of Alaska Humanitarian Award; Mayor’s Award for Public Service; Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau Meeting Champion Award; YWCA Woman of Achievement; Alaska Black Caucus Presidents Award; Wells Fargo Bank CheckPoint Alaska Award; 2000 Notable American Women; Who’s Who of American Women; and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Award.

Davis is a member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and is affiliated with various organizations to include, but not limited to: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (life member), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (life member), Business and Professional Women/USA, Alaska Women’s Political Caucus, Athena Society, Special Olympics, Zonta Anchorage, Campfire, Alaska Center for Children and Families; and March of Dimes.

Davis cares greatly about the community and strives to promote exemplary service at the local, state and national level.

Date and Place of Birth:
May 17, 1938
Homer, Louisiana 
Social Worker 
Troy (Deceased) 
Residency in Alaska:
Alaska resident since 1973
Grambling University, B.S.W. Social Work, 1956-59, 1970-71; University of Alaska, Anchorage, Graduate Studies in Family Counseling, 1973-74.
Political and Government Positions:
Senator Bettye Davis has been appointed Presiding officer to serve on the NCSL Health Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures for the 2007-2008 Biennium.
Served on the Governor's Tolerance Task Commission 2000-2001.
Appointed as the Chair of NBCSL Energy Committee.
Served on the Anchorage School Board, 1982-89, two years as president.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, 1992 and 1994, served as both Majority and Minority Whip.
Re-elected to the Anchorage School Board in 1998.
Appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles to the State Board of Education (1998).
Elected to the State Senate in 2000. 
Business and Professional Positions:
Alaska Federation of Business & Professional Women Club, President, 1999-2000
Governor's Conference on Youth and Justice, At Risk Work Group, appointed 1995-96
National Black Caucus of State Legislators Chair, Region 12, 1995-96
Athena Society, Member 1994-present, Zonta Club of Anchorage, 1994- present
Winning with Stronger Education Committee Member, 1991-present
Alaska 2000 Education Project, Member, 1991- present; YWCA of Anchorage, Member 1988-present, Past Board Member, 1989-90
Served as National President of the National Association of Black School Administrators. National Alliance of Black School Educators, Member, 1986-present, Elections and Resolutions Committee. 
She is currently a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Business and Professional Women/USA, the NAACP and is a member of the Alaska Women's Political Caucus, Anchorage Young Women's Christian Association, Athena Society, Church Women United, and Zonta. Mrs. Davis has served on various boards such as Special Olympics, Campfire, Alaska Center for Children and Families and the March of Dimes. 
Special Interests:
Grandchildren (Anthony, Alesha, Philecia, Taylor), cooking, charitable fundraising