In 1909, he was elected to be the first [[auxiliary bishop|vicar bishop]] of the North American Archdiocese by the [[Holy Synod]] of the Russian church. In Russia, Alexander was [[tonsure]]d on [[November 9]], 1909, and then consecrated Bishop of Sitka, Alaska at the St. Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg. Returning to the United States he traveled extensively through his new diocese, reporting on the developments there in the ''Russian American Orthodox Messenger''. When Apb. Platon left the [[diocese]] before the arrival of Abp. Evdokim, he was named the temporary administrator of the North American archdiocese from July 1914 to March 1915. After the arrival of Evdokim, he was transferred in 1916 to Winnipeg, Canada as Bishop of Canada where his efforts were impaired by the activity of Protestant activists. Then, again in 1917 he was called to be administrator of the Archdiocese when Archbishop Evdokim left for Russia.
Leaving Archimandrite Adam Philipovsky to administer the Canadian diocese, Bishop Alexander moved to New York as the fall out of the Bolshevik revolution descended on him and the North American diocese. When it was announced that Archbishop Evdokim was not returning to the United States, the [[All-American_Sobor#Second_All-American_Sobor|Second All-American Sobor]] of 1919 in Cleveland, Ohio elected Alexander as the ruling bishop which was belatedly confirmed by Patriarch [[Tikhon of Moscow|Tikhon]] and the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia on [[August 27]], 1920. This made him the first [[
Primate]] to be chosen locally in North America.