AK State Senator Cathy Giessel was born & raised in the community of Fairbanks, and in the Territory of Alaska. She attended Lathrop High School (with future attorney general, chief justice, several attorneys & doctors, Fairbanks assembly members and other state senators. We had a great class!), earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She worked as an RN (50 years) and Advanced Nurse Practitioner (24 years). She's been married to her husband Richard (civil engineer, retired teacher) for 50 years, and has three children and nine grandchildren.
She has served in the State Senate from 2011 through 2020, and again from 2023 to present. She served as Senate president from 2019 through 2020, and her focus has been on state resource development, health topics, arctic issues, and budget. In her free time, she likes to volunteer at the Alaska Health Fairs, serve on the Alaska Behavioral Health Board of Directors, Anchorage School District school-based clinics, Beacon Hill Safe Families for Children, and serves on the Alaskans for Better Elections Foundation board of directors.