The U.S. State Department is hosting a conference on global leadership in the arctic.

Diplomats from 20 countries have convened in Anchorage to discuss challenges facing Arctic communities.

To view the live web stream of the President’s Address at 5pm, visit

The GLACIER conference brings 450 policy-makers and stakeholders from 20 countries to Anchorage. All eight Arctic nations are represented, but so are many observer states like China, India, and the EU, who have political and economic interests in the high north.

This year, the U.S. started its three year term as head of the Arctic Council, taking over from Canada. Many in Alaska are hoping the conference represents a commitment from Washington to play a more active role confronting climate change, rural and indigenous issues, and lagging infrastructure investment in the region.

The conference also brings the first official visit from Presient Obama,
who’ll be speaking at the closing session around 5 p.m.


Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER)

Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center – Anchorage, Alaska

Monday, August 31, 2015

Opening Plenary (9:30am)

Traditional Welcome Ceremony: Mr. Lee Stephan, Tribal Chief from Eklutna


Mayor of Anchorage, Ethan Berkowitz
Mayor of the Northwest Arctic Borough of Alaska, Reggie Joule
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, Byron Mallott
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Dr. John Holdren
Special Representative for the Arctic, Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Secretary of State, Hon. John F. Kerry

Sessions Begin

FOREIGN MINISTER SESSION 11: “The Arctic’s Unique Role in Influencing the Global Climate”


Foreign Minister of Norway, Borge Brende (Chair)
Dr. Julie Brigham Grette, Chair of the Polar Research Board at the National Academies of Science (NAS)
Dr. Svante Bodin, European Director of the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

POLICY TRACK A, SESSION 1: “Building the Resilience of Arctic Coastal Communities in the Face of Climate Change”


Ms. Christina Goldfuss, Managing Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality


Hon. Fran Ulmer, Chair U.S. Arctic Research Commission (Moderator)
Mayor Reggie Joule, Northwest Arctic Borough
Ms. Robin Bronen, Executive Director, Alaska Immigration Justice Project
Mr. Craig Fleener, Arctic Policy Advisor to the Governor of the State of Alaska
Mr. Tommy Beaudreau, Chief of Staff, Department of the Interior

POLICY TRACK B, SESSION 1: “Strengthening International Preparedness and Cooperation for Emergency Response”


Mr. Gary Rasicot, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Marine Transportation Systems


Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, U.S. National Hydrographer and NOAA Director of the Office of Coast Survey
Rear Admiral Daniel Abel, Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District, U.S. Coast Guard
Ms. April Brower, Director, North Slope Borough Search and Rescue
Captain Ásgrímur L. Ásgrímsson, Chief of Operations, Icelandic Coast Guard


FOREIGN MINISTER LUNCH: Brief keynote remarks during a seated meal

Speaker: Mr. Evon Peter, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

POLICY TRACKS A & B: Buffet Lunch

Sessions Resume

FOREIGN MINISTER SESSION 2: “Focus Session on Climate Resilience and Adaptation Planning”


Foreign Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallström (Chair)
The Honorable Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, United States
Mr. Vittus Qujaukitsoq, Minister for Industry, Labour, Trade and Foreign Affairs, Greenland, Kingdom of Denmark
Professor Johan Rockström (moderator)

POLICY TRACK A, SESSION 2: “Protecting Communities and the Environment through Climate and Air Quality Projects”


Ms. Jane Nishida, Acting Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, U.S. EPA


Mr. Chris Rose, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Alaska Project
Mr. Jim Gamble, Aleut International Association
Ms. Ingunn Lindeman, Norwegian Environment Agency
Mr. Sameer Akbar, The World Bank

POLICY TRACK B, SESSION 2: “Preventing Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean”


Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Department of State


Dr. Peter Harrison, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada (Moderator)
Mr. Alf Håkon Hoel, Research Director Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Ms. Stephanie Madsen, Executive Director, At-sea Processors Association
Dr. Vyacheslav Zilanov, Russian Association of the Fishermen of the North
Mr. Jim Stotts, Inuit Circumpolar Council
Mr. Stefaan Depypere, Director, International Affairs and Markets, DG Mare, European Commission

FOREIGN MINISTER SESSION 3: “Strengthening Arctic Cooperation and Coordination on Ocean Stewardship, Environmental Protection, and Support to Local Communities”


Foreign Minister Soini (Finland), Chair
Foreign Minister Jensen (Denmark)
Foreign Minister Sveinsson (Iceland)
Foreign Minister Brende (Norway)
U.S. Secretary of State, John F. Kerry

POLICY TRACK A, SESSION 3: “Healthy Arctic Homes: Designing Cold Climate Structures for the 21st Century (Addressing Health, Efficiency, & Resiliency through Innovative Housing Technologies)”


Dr. Michael Bruce, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arctic Investigations Program – Alaska


Mr. Bill Griffith, State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Water and Sewer Challenge
Mr. John Warren, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Mr. Jack Hébert, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Mr. Stefan Lindbäck, Lindbäcks Bygg, Sweden

POLICY TRACK B, SESSION 3: “Strengthening Observation Networks”


Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere


Ms. Christine Daae Olseng, Special Adviser on Polar Research, Norwegian Research Council and Chair of SAON (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks)
Mr. Michael Y. Brubaker, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Mr. Jim Stotts, Inuit Circumpolar Council – Alaska
Dr. Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska & Study of Arctic Environmental Change (SEARCH)
Hon. Fran Ulmer, U.S. Arctic Research Commission (Moderator)

Concluding Remarks

End Event (5:30pm)