The Founders

JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS 

Born and raised in Sitka, Alaska, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins represents Sitka, Petersburg, and 20 other rural Southeast Alaska communities in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Jonathan left Yale to run for the legislature against a four-term incumbent. He is serving his third term and chairing the State Affairs Committee. At 28 years old, Jonathan is the Alaska Legislature’s youngest member.

Jonathan cares deeply for rural Alaska. Legislative focuses include growing Alaska’s fishing economy, sustainable rural economic development, growing Alaska’s knowledge economy, and celebrating and revitalizing Alaska Native culture and language. His 2014 legislation enshrining Alaska’s 20 Native languages as official languages of the State of Alaska attracted national attention. Jonathan was recognized by The Washington Post in 2014 as one of its "top 40 under 40" in American politics.

Outside politics, Jonathan has started several programs that bring young people and energy into Sitka. Together, these programs have brought over 200 people to volunteer, work, or live in Sitka, and have led the Yale Office of Career Strategy to identify Sitka as the number one worldwide destination for Yale undergrads seeking OCS summer opportunities, exceeding placements in cities such as London and San Francisco.

Jonathan enjoys projects. Two of Jonathan’s active non-political include creating the Trans-Alaska Trail (aktrail.org), an 800-mile recreation gateway traversing Alaska from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tidewater, and founding Outer Coast College (outercoast.org), a high intensity liberal arts college in Sitka, inspired by Deep Springs College in California.

In addition to his work, he enjoys endurance running and outdoor adventure, and has won or placed in various trail races and ultramarathons across Alaska and Lower 48. In 2011, Jonathan and his climbing partner posted a first ascent of El Muertito (19,639 feet) in the Argentine-Chilean Andes, then the highest unclimbed peak in the Western Hemisphere, as well as helping settle a debate over the altitude of the world’s tallest volcano Ojos del Salado (22,615 feet). Jonathan also plays cello and double bass, and has twice toured through rural Alaska with a piano trio sponsored by a performing arts grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.

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JAVIER BOTERO

Javier Botero is a film producer, writer, and software engineer. Javier co-produced the cyber warfare documentary Zero Days for director Alex Gibney, which was short-listed for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary. He has led software development and communications for several tech start-ups. He and Jonathan, with others, co-founded the Sitka Fellows Program in 2012. Javier studied philosophy at Yale.