Mar 26: “The Arctic: A New Model for Global Cooperation”

When: Monday, March 26 at 3:30 PM 

Where: ASEAN Auditorium, The Fletcher School

YES, the Arctic is warming……………

YES, the Arctic holds 30% of the world’s untapped mineral resources………

NO, there is not an imminent race to riches among northern nations to exploit these untapped resources………..


President of Iceland

With responses – maybe challenges – from:

  • Diplomat Pontus Melander of Sweden
  • Economist Alexander Pilyasov of Russia
  • Politician Mead Treadwell, Lt. Governor of Alaska

The wrap-up session of a two-day dialogue among government, business and media leaders from among the eight Arctic Council countries organized by the Murrow Center of the Fletcher School with cooperation from the Institute of the North in Anchorage, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy of the Fletcher School and the government of Norway.

More information here.


  1. Arni Snaevarr

    Dear Sir/Madam.
    I just want to let you know, that to call Mr. Grímsson, the Dalai Lama of the North is just laughable – and this invitation is being forwarded a lot as a joke on facebook. Mr. Grímsson is best known for having the capacity of being able to start an argument in an empty room, who has ever called him the Dalai Lama of the north? Let me guess: himself, best regards Arni Snaevarr

  2. Steinunn Gestsdóttir


    as a Tufts Ph.D.-graduate and an Icelandic national, I was upset to see your overly enthusiastic endorsement of Mr. Grimsson (I have to agree with Mr. Snaevarr’s comment that calling Mr. Grimsson “Dalai Lama of the north” is comic at best). In Iceland, Mr. Grimsson is seen by many as a key “player” in the economic collapse of our nation, but worse, he has shown no signs of taking responsibility for his role in the awful mess that ruined the lives of many ordinary citizens, who are still struggling with the consequences of the collapse. Mr. Grimsson has divided the Icelandic people and by seeking to serve as president for a fifth term, he continues to do so. Knowing first hand how professionalism and social responsibly characterize every aspect of Tufts University, it is puzzling and upsetting to see Mr. Grimsson equated with a prominent spiritual leader.

    Warm regards, Dr. Steinunn Gestsdottir.

  3. Jessica Smith

    Dear Dr. Gestsdottir, Mr. Snaevarr,
    The Fletcher School hosts a large number of foreign dignitaries who speak on a wide variety of issues, and our faculty express their own opinions and not those of the School.

    We did ask Crocker Snow, director of the Murrow Center and organizer of the Arctic conference, for more background on the source of the reference. He explained that he was the author, if not the originator, as follows:

    The reference to “the Dalai Lama of the North” is my own, and it pertains
    specifically to the positive reactions I overheard to Pres. Grimsson’s
    remarks on this subject matter. I was a speaker at “The Arctic Imperative
    Summit” in Girwood, Alaska, last June, at which Pres. Grimsson gave a
    keynote address. It was a comprehensive, compelling, quite passionate
    speech not about Iceland per se but about key economic and environmental
    issues that transcend the circumpolar lands. He got a rousing ovation from
    those present — approximately 300 – 400 international attendees from all
    over the Arctic.

    The flier was not vetted by President Grimsson or his staff.

    In response to some confusion over the source of the reference, we have taken steps to
    update the promotional materials for the event and have done so here.

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Jessica Smith
    Director, Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
    The Fletcher School

  4. Leibbi

    Dear Ms. Smith.

    I can agree with Mr. Snævarr and Dr. Gestsdóttir, calling Mr. Grímsson, Dalai Lama of the North is laughable.

    But we are going through hard times.
    Sovereignty of the nation is in danger and the President has decided to sit one more term. Those who want to join the EU are unhappy with the president’s decision and they will tell lies.

  5. Steinunn Gestsdóttir

    Dear Ms. Smith and Mr. Snow,
    thank you for your response and claryfications. I am not opposing that Mr. Grimsson is invited to speak at any event but I am glad that there is recognition that he is very controversial among the people he was elected to serve, even if he gets rousing ovations from others.
    Best regards,

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