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President Obama names Chancellor Fran Ulmer to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


ANCHORAGE, AK -
Today President Obama announced that UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer will serve as one of the seven members on the newly formed National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The commission is charged with investigating the causes of the explosion and oil spill, and recommending changes to prevent future disasters.

"I'm honored that President Obama has asked me to serve on this important commission," said Chancellor Ulmer. "I have a deep commitment to public service and to improving the way scientific research is included in public policy decisions. Hopefully, I will be able to serve as a bridge between Alaskans, particularly those who have been affected by the Exxon Valdez spill, and those recommending the changes needed to prevent future disasters."

Since this is a volunteer position, Ulmer will continue as UAA's Chancellor until she retires in June 2011. Ulmer's dual role as a commission member and as UAA's Chancellor will allow her to serve as a link between the commission and University of Alaska researchers and area experts in oil spill response and prevention.

During her more than 30 years of working in public service on the local, state and national levels, Ulmer has helped to shape both public and environmental policy. As a state legislator, Ulmer served as a member on the Special Committee on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Claims Settlement. In addition, Ulmer was the first chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council, a member of Governor Knowles' Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

In addition to serving on the boards of several local organizations, Ulmer also serves on the Board for the Alaska Nature Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the on Aspen Institute's Commission on Arctic Climate Change. In order to focus her attention and avoid conflicts, Ulmer plans to resign these positions prior to beginning work on the commission.

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is expected to deliver a report to President Obama within six months.

For additional information about the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, please visit the White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill/.

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