Born to Dr. Bryan Mac Lean and the Late Representative Eileen Panigeo Mac Lean, Tara Katuk Sweeney is the granddaughter of the Late May Ahmaogak Panigeo and the Late Henry Panigeo of Barrow. She is the great granddaughter of the Late Bert and Nellie Panigeo and Isabel and Dr. Roy Ahmaogak.
Sweeney is married to Kevin, and together they have two children, Caitlin and Ahmaogak.
An Iñupiat, from Barrow, Tara was raised in rural Alaska villages from Noorvik to Wainwright, Barrow, Bethel, and Unalakleet. She graduated from Barrow High School and through hard work and community support she was accepted to Cornell, where she graduated in 1998.
Through the following two decades Tara has always worked to make our state, nation and world a better place through a focus on creating jobs, supporting families and fostering economic growth for Alaska and its communities.
She worked in the private sector rising to the executive level at Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Tara has also served Alaska in the public sector. Internationally she was chair of the multi-national Arctic Economic Council. She was the first, and only, Alaska Native Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior, co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), and special assistant for Rural Affairs and Education during Gov. Murkowski’s administration. A Republican, she was also a 2022 co-chair of the late Congressman Don Young’s campaign.
Tara’s depth and breadth of service at all levels, in both public and private sectors, simply cannot be matched by any other candidate running for this seat.Tara also has served in leadership positions on numerous business and nonprofit boards at both the state and national level, including chair of the Arctic Economic Council; Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees; the University of Alaska Foundation Board of Trustees; Breast Cancer Focus, Inc.; and Arctic Power.
She also served as co-chair of Senator Dan Sullivan’s (R-AK) successful Senate campaign. In 2017 she was inducted into the Anchorage ATHENA Society, a program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that encourages the potential of women as valued members and leaders of the business community.