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Begich Praises Appointment of Ulmer to Chair Arctic Research Commission


U.S. Senator Mark Begich released the following statement after President Obama's appointment of Fran Ulmer, former Alaska Lt. Governor, current UAA Chancellor and member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling as Chair of the Arctic Research Commission. Begich formally recommended Ulmer to President Obama in 2010:

"America would be hard-pressed to find anyone as thoroughly qualified and ready to serve as Chair of the Arctic Research Commission as Alaska's own Fran Ulmer.

"I was proud to recommend Fran to serve in this important position. Over the years, Alaskans, Alaska's elected officials and the president have called on Fran to serve at almost every level of public service where she has safeguarded our interests and proven to be the smart choice every time.

"Fran brings an intimate knowledge of the Arctic's environment, efforts to promote economic development in the region and the need for the U.S. to be a leader in the Arctic. Having her as Chair of the Commission will help further our nation's efforts to expand our role and harness our potential as an Arctic nation."

Ulmer replaces Dr. Virgil "Buck" Sharpton who has served as acting chairman since August 2010.

The following text comes from the White House Press Office...

The President also announced his intent to appoint Leslie Fields and Roberta Ness as members of the Board of Directors of the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Committee and Frances Ulmer as Chair of the Arctic Research Commission.  Their biographies can be found below. 

President Obama said, "These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

Frances Ulmer, Appointee for Chair, Arctic Research Commission

Fran Ulmer is Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Alaska's largest public university. Prior to her appointment as Chancellor in 2007, Ms. Ulmer was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. Ms. Ulmer also served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, as a state representative and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. As a state legislator, Ms. Ulmer served as a member on the Special Committee on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Claims Settlement. In addition, she was the first Chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council, was a member of Governor Tony Knowles' Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. Ms. Ulmer also served as Director of Policy Development for the State of Alaska. At the national level, Ms. Ulmer served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission's State and Local Advisory Committee, the Federal Elections Commission's State Advisory Committee and co-chaired the National Academies of Science's Committee on State Voter Registration Databases. Ms. Ulmer was also appointed a member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling by President Obama in June 2010. She previously was a member of the Aspen Institute's Commission on Arctic Climate Change and held Board positions with the Alaska Nature Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Ms. 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.

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