Ed Rasmuson is a third-generation Alaskan. His roots in the state go back to 1901 when his Swedish grandparents came to Alaska to serve as missionaries in Yakutat. He attended high school in Anchorage and graduated from Harvard in 1962. Following graduation, he worked at Chemical Bank and at Brown Brothers, Harriman (an investment firm) before returning to Ketchikan in 1964 where he began his long career with the Bank. From 1966 to 1972 he achieved successive bank promotions and in December 1971 he was promoted to Executive Vice President. He became President of National Bank of Alaska in 1974 and Chairman of the Board in 1985. When National Bank of Alaska merged with Wells Fargo Bank, Rasmuson became Chairman of the Statewide Advisory Board. Although retired from Wells Fargo Bank, Rasmuson continues to serve as Chairman of the Statewide Advisory Board for the bank.
Rasmuson serves as Chairman of the foundation established by his grandmother in 1955. The Rasmuson Foundation, which until 2000 was modest in size, is now one of the largest foundations in the Northwest with $550 million in assets. The Foundation funds throughout Alaska in the areas of arts and culture; health and human services; community development and education.
Community service has always been important to the Rasmuson family. In September of 1993, Rasmuson received the second Distinguished Scout Award ever to be given in Alaska. This award recognized Eagle Scouts who, after 25 years, have distinguished themselves in their life’s work and have shared their talents with the community. He has continued his active involvement by serving as Treasurer and then President of the Boy Scouts of America, Western Council. Rasmuson is past president of the Alaska Bankers Association. He is the former Honorary Consul of Sweden for the State of Alaska and past ‘Alaskan of the Year’ recipient.
Rasmuson is also a strong supporter of education. He served on the Sheldon Jackson Board of Trustees for seven years; the University of Alaska Board of Regents for 14 years; the State Board of Education Alaska 2000. He currently serves as a Trustee for Alaska Pacific University. He is the only individual to serve on all three university boards.
Other memberships include the Anchorage Museum Foundation Board Chairman, Atwood Foundation Board Chairman, Elks Club, Pioneers of Alaska, Explorer’s Club, the Civilian Affairs Board; Aleut Church Restoration Committee; Bristol Bay Native Association Blue Ribbon Commission to Assess the Effects of Limited Entry. He served as a board member of the CIRI Foundation until recently. He is a past president of United Way (1977) and the Downtown Rotary (1992-93).
From 2001 to 2004, Rasmuson served as a commissioner on the federal Commission on Ocean Policy. He was a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a position he accepted in 2003 and which terminated the end of 2007.
In his spare time, Rasmuson is an airplane pilot, hunter, downhill skier and fisherman. Snow machining is a favorite family activity. Ed and his wife Cathy have three children and five grandchildren.