Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative to the Arctic, connected by phone to the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors meeting in Anchorage on May 7. After reiterating the update he used for the Stakeholder Outreach Forum on April 16 (see the Arctic Report 4th Edition), Adm. Papp said the official kick-off for the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council will take place in Washington, DC, on May 21.
Senior Arctic Officials, diplomats and others have been invited to a high-ranking reception with Secretary John Kerry. This event is expected to include entertainment from an Alaska Native dance group, still to be announced. The event will not be open to the public.
Adm. Papp announced he will travel to Anchorage the following week to meet with King Harald V of Norway and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. Adm. Papp said he will also be accompanied by an NBC reporter during his Alaska visit. He also hopes to meet with more members of the Arctic Economic Council while in Alaska.
When asked about Alaska Native representation on his team in DC, Adm. Papp applauded the hard work of Nikoosh Carlo as the Chief of Staff to David Balton, current chairman of the Senior Arctic Officials. Adm. Papp said he and Fran Ulmer are working on hiring three more Alaskans to work with the Arctic Council and should finalize that decision in the coming weeks.