Galen was born in Litchfield, Minnesota. He obtained his BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Engineering Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Galen was Vice President and Co-Owner of GHEMM Company until 2005. He was a teacher at UAF Community & Technical College, where he chaired the Construction Management and Drafting Technology Department until his retirement in 2022. Galen was named Engineer of the Year in 2008 by the Fairbanks branch of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers. Galen joined the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation Full Board of Trustees in 2009. He chairs the Construction Committee and is a member of the Executive Board.