A distinguished group of Arctic policy leaders and the inaugural cohort of scholars from the Fulbright Arctic Initiative joined together to discuss pressing Arctic policy challenges. 

As the Arctic Council transitions from American to Finnish chairmanship, policymakers from the United States, Finland, and the Arctic Council Permanent Participants discussed shared policy goals and priority areas for further research. Following panel presentations by policy leaders and Fulbright Scholars, audience discussion considered where opportunities exist for applied research to inform policy solutions to Arctic problems.

This event is part of a series of public events during Fulbright Arctic Week. For a full calendar of events, visit www.cies.org/fulbright-arctic-week.


2:30 p.m.

William J. Burns

2:35 p.m.

Kenneth S. Yalowitz 

3:00 p.m.

Arctic Policy Leaders Panel
Ambassador David A. Balton 
Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi
Okalik Eegeesiak
Moderators: Michael Sfraga and Ross A. Virginia

3:45 p.m.

Key Findings and Policy Recommendations from the Energy, Water, Health, and Infrastructure Fulbright Working Groups
Energy: Gregory Poelzer, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Water: Niels Vestergaard, University of Southern Denmark
Health: Susan Chatwood, University of Toronto, Canada
Infrastructure: Gwen Holdmann, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Moderators: Michael Sfraga and Ross A. Virginia

4:45 p.m.

Discussion and Wrap-Up
James F. Collins
Lars Kullerud 

4:55 p.m.

Michael Sfraga and Ross A. Virginia


William J. Burns

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as U.S. deputy secretary of state.

James F. Collins

James F. Collins is a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001.

Kenneth S. Yalowitz

Kenneth S. Yalowitz is a global fellow at the Kennan Institute and Polar Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Michael Sfraga

Michael Sfraga currently serves as vice chancellor for university and student advancement and is professor of arctic policy in the School of Natural Resources and Extension.

Ross Virginia

Ross Virginia is the director of the Institute of Arctic Studies. He is a distinguished co-lead scholar of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

David A. Balton

David A. Balton is the deputy assistant secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State. 

Kirsti Kauppi

Kirsti Kauppi is the ambassador of Finland to the United States. She began her tenure in Washington, D.C. on September 1, 2015.

Okalik Eegeesiak

Okalik Eegeesiak was elected chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) in July 2014. Ms. Eegeesiak was president of Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) from 2008-2014.

Lars Kullerud

Lars Kullerud is the president of the University of the Arctic (UArctic) in Arendal, Norway. Kullerud has held the position of president since May 2002.