Panel III: The Current State of Governance in the Arctic

Friday, April 8, 2022
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm EST

Panel Description:

Moderator: Dr. Rockford “Rocky” Weitz

Rockford Weitz is professor of practice, entrepreneur coach, and director of the Maritime Studies Program at The Fletcher School of Tufts University. He also serves as president of the Institute for Global Maritime Studies Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit seeking practical solutions to global maritime challenges, and president & CEO at Rhumb Line International LLC, a consultancy providing strategic advice to entrepreneurs and startups. Rockford earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The Fletcher School, and a B.A. in International Relations: Political Economy from the College of William and Mary. He is a fellow in the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, a member of the Fletcher School’s Advancement Council, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Fran Ulmer

Fran Ulmer is the former chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was chancellor of University of Alaska Anchorage. Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, a state representative, and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. She previously worked as legal counsel to the Alaska Legislature, legislative assistant to Governor Jay Hammond, and Director of Policy Development for the state. In addition, she was the first Chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Andrei Zagorski

Dr. Andrei Zagorski is Head of Department of Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences.He is also Professor of International Relations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), and member of the Russian International Affairs Council.He has been engaged in Arctic studies for the last 12 years concentrating on Arctic governance and security issues.

Dr. Walter Berbrick

Walter Berbrick is as an associate professor in the War Gaming Department, founding director of the Arctic Studies Group and co-lead scholar of the Newport Arctic Scholars Initiative. He has authored many reports and publications on defense and foreign policy issues and is the co-author of the forthcoming book “Newport Manual on Arctic Security.” Most recently, he served as the senior arctic policy advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and special representative for the Arctic region at the U.S. State Department. He is an international affairs fellow and member with the Council on Foreign Relations, holds a doctorate from Northeastern University and has served 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

Sierra Fletcher

Sierra is a Principal at Nuka Research, a small consulting firm based in Alaska and New England. The company was founded to focus on oil spill prevention and response in Alaska, but has grown to provide advice, analysis, coordination, and planning support across a wider range of issues in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. This has included work with state, provincial, and federal agencies; Indigenous governments and organizations; citizens oversight groups and NGOs; and industry. With the Arctic context, Sierra has analyzed vessel traffic; assessed oil spill response policy, planning and capacity; coordinated a biodiversity monitoring program under the Arctic Council, and facilitated discussions on issues such as wastewater and air emissions from vessels. Sierra has a B.A. from Yale and a M.A.L.D. from Fletcher (2003), and is very fortunate that she continues to learn from many different kinds of experts. 

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