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Gov. Bill Walker Will Travel To China With Trump.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker will be joining President Donald Trump in China during the president's trip to Asia this week. Walker told reporters Thursday he is part of Trump's trade mission to Asia and is looking forward to sign a deal with Chinese companies on the state's proposed $43 billion gas export project.

According to( Peninsula Clarion , Walker highlighted the goal of the trip is to strike a beneficial deal and said, "I would say this is probably the most significant opportunity we've had. We've been over on our own trade missions, but to be part of a larger trade mission ... it expresses a much higher attention to Alaska in doing this."

Born William Martin Walker on April 16, 1951 to Alaskan pioneers Ed and Frances Walker, Bill Walker is the 11th governor of Alaska. An American attorney, he is the second native-born governor of Alaska after William A. Egan. Walker was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and raised in Delta Junction and Valdez in the state.

His father Ed Walker was an Alaskan Scout with Castner's Cutthroats in the Aleutians, an island chain in the state, during the World War II and his mother Frances worked on the Alcan Highway project. As a family, they celebrated Alaska Statehood in 1959, survived the 1964 earthquake and worked together in the family construction and hotel businesses.

At the age of 12, Walker became a concierge to help his family. He worked in his family's construction business as a carpenter, laborer and teamster on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This helped him pay for his education. After graduating from Valdez High School in 1969, Walker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Lewis and Clark College in 1973. He completed his juris doctor (J.D.) in 1983 from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now known as Seattle University School of Law).

Before becoming the governor and moving to Juneau, Walker and his wife Donna resided in Anchorage, Alaska. The couple owned a law firm that focused on municipal and oil and gas law. From 1977 to 1979, he served as the attorney for the Valdez City Council and as general counsel for the Alaska Gasline Port Authority. He was later elected the mayor of Valdez and served from 1978 to 1980, becoming the city's youngest mayor at the age of 27.

Married since 1977, the Walkers have four children, and five grandchildren. Gov. Walker is an avid downhill skier and enjoys fishing, boating, snow-machining, campfires with the family at the lake and taking the grandkids ice skating. In November 2016, Walker was diagnosed with prostate cancer for which he underwent a surgery in December the same year.

Walker took the oath as a governor Dec. 1, 2014. As governor, he has attended many events across Alaska, such as the Annual Governor's Picnic which took place at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks in June 2015, at Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage on Aug. 1, 2015 and at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau on Aug. 14, 2015. He also flew to Sitka when seven landslides devastated the town and funded $1 million to help in the recovery process.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:Nov 3, 2017
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