Ulmer named to advise Kerry on Arctic issues


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 Alaska’s Fran Ulmer has been appointed special advisor to the Secretary of State John Kerry for Arctic Affairs.

It’s not a full-time job, though, but just makes official what Ulmer already does as chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, she said in an interview.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich announced the appointment July 15 along with that of former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Robert Papp as U.S. Special Representative to the Arctic.

Begich said Ulmer and Papp, “both have the international experience and depth of knowledge of the Arctic to represent the U.S. at the highest international levels.”

“As chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer is arguably the most knowledgable Alaskan about the Arctic and will be an invaluable advisor to Secretary Kerry, the President, and other top officials on Arctic issues,” Begich said.

The Arctic Research Commisison, on which Ulmer and several other Alaskans sit, advises federal agencies on research priorities. Ulmer is also a former lieutenant governor and chancellor at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Papp was an excellent choice as special representative. “You need an individual with credibility and experience in the region and a proven ability to work with communities in the U.S. and circumpolar Arctic,” she said. “Admiral Papp’s knowledge base of the Arctic is as vast as the region itself.”

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