Congressman Young Comments on Special Representative to the Arctic Announcement

Feb 23, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his thoughts following the State Department’s announcement to name retired Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Jr. the first United States Special Representative to the Arctic:

“As I’ve said before, our nation needs a strong leader in the Arctic with the means necessary to dedicate special attention to the many relationships and interests in the region, including resource development, increased shipping and tourism, and Alaska Native priorities. The announcement of our Nation’s first Arctic Representative is a great step for Alaska and the rest of the nation as we begin to make substantial efforts to become active players in forming global Arctic policy. We must remember, the United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska, and we must prepare to be an active participant in the Arctic theater. 

“I have proudly worked with Admiral Papp for years on behalf of Alaska and the Arctic during his time as Coast Guard Commandant and welcome him to the job with open arms.  I believe he holds the know-how and understanding to begin making headway on these vital American issues, especially as we prepare to take over the Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2015. I was pleased to see this Administration has finally taken steps to improve our Arctic presence by selecting an individual with a wealth of knowledge and understanding on Arctic issues, and a tested record of working with Alaskans.

“I must also congratulate Fran Ulmer, the Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, for her new State Department role as a Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. Fran has always been a strong advocate for Alaskan issues and causes, and I know she’ll continue to do so as an advisor to the Secretary of State.

Congressman Don Young is a long Arctic advocate, has consistently fought to protect and increase U.S. Icebreaking capabilities, and introduced legislation in the House to create a U.S. Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs.