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Arctic Circle
  • Oct 6, 2020

How will the Arctic be impacted by the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election?

The first VIRTUAL Dialogue took place when the Presidential election was only four weeks away! Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska participated in the Dialogue and took questions from a truly Global audience.

A Dialogue with U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Moderated by H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chairman Arctic Circle, President of Iceland 1996-2016

Senator Lisa Murkowski

U.S. Senator for Alaska

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is considered the leader among her Congressional colleagues on Arctic issues. She has in recent years reached global fame due to her position in the US Senate. She is the U.S. Representative in the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus.

Senator Murkowski has long-advocated for the Arctic as a national priority and continues to push the United States to invest in the infrastructure and assets critical to supporting an Arctic strategy. She is leading the charge to recapitalize and expand America’s fleet of icebreakers and has introduced legislation to raise the nation’s presence in the Arctic through two bills that support responsible research and development as well as giving those who live in the region a greater voice on policy and research. She has been instrumental in promoting the importance of Arctic development in the U.S., and has emphasized that the U.S. "has to acknowledge [its] role as an Arctic nation".

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

President of Iceland 1996-2016, Chairman of Arctic Circle

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson served as President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; elected five times in nationwide elections. Previously, he was Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He now serves as Chairman of Arctic Circle, which he founded in 2013 with various Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 60 countries. Arctic Circle also organizes specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Before and after his presidency, President Grímsson has worked closely with members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate as well as with many key members of governments in European countries. For decades, he has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency and in recent years initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the Americas; especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. He was the Chairman of a commission established by IRENA on the new geopolitics emerging from global renewable energy transformation. Grímsson served on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank. In addition to devoting his post-presidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources.

President Grímsson has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented to him by the President of India.

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