Cliff Groh

District 18

About Cliff
Cliff Groh is the State Representative from House District 18 in the Alaska Legislature. He was elected in 2022 to represent a North Anchorage district that includes all of the Government Hill neighborhood and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) plus parts of the North Muldoon, Downtown, Fairview, and Mountain View neighborhoods.

Cliff is a lifelong Alaskan, a husband, a father, and a lawyer who has worked as a municipal attorney, a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney, and an oil and gas property tax lawyer.

He was born and raised in Anchorage and attended Anchorage public schools before graduating from Harvard College with high honors and the law school at the University of California at Berkeley. His senior honors thesis at Harvard College was on the history and politics of the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA).

He was the legislative assistant who worked by far the most to help develop and secure the passage of the legislation in 1982 creating the Permanent Fund Dividend Alaska has today. He also played a key role as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Revenue in the enactment of oil tax legislation in 1989 that brought in $2 billion in additional revenues.

Cliff authored or co-authored four chapters in academic books published in 2012 about the Permanent Fund Dividend and Alaska fiscal policy. He published three books/booklets in 2020 on Alaska’s long-term structural deficit that include cartoons and graphics as well as text he wrote. He taught a course he created at the University of Alaska Anchorage entitled “Navigating Alaska’s Fiscal and Economic Challenges.”

Since the mid-1990s, he has served on the board of Alaska Common Ground, a public policy organization focused on helping Alaskans seek consensus on the state’s significant issues. He has been a moderator, panelist, presenter, and/or organizer of more than a dozen events on Alaska fiscal policy put on by that organization. While serving as Alaska Common Ground’s chair in 2014-2018, he led efforts to present a comprehensive series of events regarding the causes, consequences, and potential remedies for the unusually high costs of health care on the Last Frontier.

Cliff was an invited participant to the Walker-Mallott administration’s forum on Alaska’s future in 2015 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a delegate to the Conference of Alaskans in 2004 called by Gov. Frank Murkowski. The University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) published in 2018 his paper on the unfunded liabilities of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).

Cliff’s legal work has included a successful defense in federal court the right to equal housing opportunity for unmarried cohabitating couples, including both straight and gay couples. (The oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals appeared on national television.)

Cliff served as Vice President of a family-owned corporation that owned and developed a rural residential subdivision on Prince William Sound. He managed the affairs of that corporation before negotiating the sale of the corporation’s holdings in 2019.

He is Vice President of the Friends of the Permanent Fund and was formerly an Honorary Commander of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). He is active in the Government Hill Community Council. He previously served on the boards of the Cook Inlet Historical Society and the South Addition Community Council.

He has written extensively on the federal investigations into public corruption in Alaska, and he was interviewed for an hour on C-SPAN about this topic. Cliff was a columnist for years for the Alaska Bar Rag, the official publication of lawyers on the Last Frontier. He has been interviewed and/or quoted in media as diverse as the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, the Alaska Public Radio Network, and the Atlantic magazine.

Cliff is married to Theresa and has an adult son named Kevin. He is a lifelong Alaskan who enjoys reading, hiking, and travel. He has participated in an international humorous speakers’ contest and performed stand-up comedy in multiple states.