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2016 Speakers

Michael Kingston

Partner, Marine Trade and Energy Group, DFW LLP, London, UK

Michael Kingston, from Goleen, County Cork, Ireland is a solicitor in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland and was the 2015 Lloyd’s List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year for his contribution to safety of life at sea, particularly in the Polar regions in relation to risk and regulation as the Polar Code was being finalised. Michael is currently representing the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) on the IMO’s world delegation Correspondence Group in the final stages of the development of the ‘ice regime’ that will guide limitation for operation in ice. Michael also worked closely with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, the Swedish Government, Lloyd’s of London and leading Industry ice experts in organising a workshop on 12 March 2014 entitled ‘Bridging the Arctic marine risk gap - The need for a cross Arctic Ice Regime – linking ice conditions to ice class requirements’, following which recommendations about best practice in marine operations were made to the Arctic Council, after which an ice regime was proposed for inclusion in the Polar Code. Michael has worked closely with a number of Arctic Governments and in August 2014 he presented at NASA’s John C Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi in relation to how their satellite missions can assist in better navigation in Ice. He has just returned from Reykjavik, Iceland where he has been helping the European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries formulate their Arctic Policy. He also gave evidence to the House of Lords Arctic Committee whose report was published last year.


Dr. Alexander Shestakov

Director, WWF Global Arctic Programme

Alexander Shestakov has worked as the Director of WWF's Global Arctic Programme based in Ottawa, Canada since July 2010, leading all of WWF’s work in the Arctic. Combining environmental and legal backgrounds, Dr. Shestakov received his MSc and PhD in physical geography, landscape sciences, and environmental management, and his MA in Land and Environmental Law from Moscow State University. He also completed the international program Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD). Dr. Shestakov has worked in a variety of sectors and roles including research on global environmental problems, environmental mapping, and environmental management at the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences; environmental consultancy on ESIA and environmental audits for a variety of industries; serving as an expert to the Committee on Ecology at Russian Parliament and drafting new federal environmental laws; representing the Russian Federation in the Convention on Biological Diversity including a COP Bureau; working at WWF Russia as an Environmental Law Officer and as Conservation Director; and working for BP Russia as HSE Manager and Environmental Director, participating in the work of IPIECA and OGP. Dr. Shestakov is the author of over 70 publications.


Stephan Schott

Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

Stephan Schott is a Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University with a PhD in Natural Resource and Environmental Economics from the University of Guelph. Since 2010 he has been the graduate supervisor for the new interdisciplinary M.A. in Sustainable Energy Engineering and Policy. Dr. Schott teaches graduate courses in natural resource management, environmental and ecological economics, social benefit cost analysis, energy economics and economic theory. His research currently focuses on energy strategies and carbon emission reduction programmes, alternative energy and sustainable development in the Arctic, the economic impacts of mining on local communities and local business development, food security and the integration of traditional knowledge and science, and behavioral experiments in common pool resource environments.


Piper Foster Wilder

Deputy Director, Reneweable Energy Alaska Project

Piper Foster Wilder is the Deputy Director at Renewable Energy Alaska Project. Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) is a coalition of large and small Alaska utilities, businesses, conservation and consumer groups, Alaska Native organizations, and municipal, state and federal entities with an interest in developing Alaska’s vast renewable energy resources. REAP’s goal is to increase the production of renewable energy in Alaska and bring the benefits of clean, economic and inexhaustible renewable power to the citizens of Alaska. Prior to this position, Piper Foster Wilder was the Project Manager for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association’s (COSEIA) Solar Thermal Pilot Project. She was also the Vice President of Amatis Controls, a Campaign Strategist for Energy Smart Colorado, and the Executive Director of the Sopris Foundation.


Pamela Lesser

Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland / Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM)

Pamela Lesser is a Researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland / Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM). Pamela is currently evaluating the existing research on sustainable mining in the Nordic countries in order to determine the gaps and future research needs on this topic, as well as looking at how impact and benefit agreements might be tailored to the Nordic countries to function as a bridge between their legal/regulatory systems and the growing influence of the social license to operate concept in the region. Pamela received a Master’s of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California and has also pursued postgraduate studies in environmental policy and science.


Sonja Bickford

Project Manager, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland / NIEM

Sonja Bickford is a Project Manager at NIEM and the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. She has worked in project management and program development in Finland, Sweden and the United States. Her extensive interests include environmental impact assessments, global environmental governance, and creating a successful business model for improving profitability and sustainable environmental tourism in northern Finland. Furthermore, she is focused on understanding and improving business opportunities in the Arctic while creating a business model for improving sustainable operation, development, transportation, and trade in the Arctic regions. Sonja holds a DBA in Global Business and Leadership from the California Intercontinental University and an MBA from Arkansas State University.


Victoria Herrmann

President and Managing Director, The Arctic Institute

Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute. In addition to managing the Institute and Board of Directors, her research and writing focus on climate change, community adaptation, human development, and resource economies, with a particular focus on Arctic oil and gas. She is a Gates Scholar at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, where she is pursuing a PhD in Political Geography of the Arctic. In 2016, Victoria is traveling across the United States for a National Geographic funded book on climate change stories, America’s Eroding Edges.


Julia Bradley-Cook

AAAS Congressional Science Fellow, Office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

Dr. Julia Bradley-Cook is an Arctic ecosystem ecologist with a background in soil science and sustainability. She is currently an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, where she is working on climate and energy policy. For her doctoral research, Julia researched climate and environmental impacts on permafrost soils in Greenland to understand the dynamics of this globally-important carbon pool. Previous work experience includes being a researcher at the sustainable development non-governmental organization, Desert Research Foundation of Namibia, and an internship at Climate Central, a climate science communication non-profit. Julia is interested in information-based decision making, and the inclusion of diverse knowledge types, such as local and traditional knowledge, in environmental problem solving. Julia holds a B.A. from Grinnell College and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth.


Mia Bennett

Manager, Cryopolitics

Mia Bennett is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at UCLA and Manager of the Cryopolitics blog. Her research examines the pathways and processes of Arctic natural resource and infrastructure development using methods from political geography and remote sensing. Mia recieved an MPhil in Polar Studies from the University of Cambridge. She can be followed on Twitter @miageografia.


Kelly K. Falkner

Head, Polar Programs Division in the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation

Kelly K. Falkner heads up the Polar Programs Division in the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation. In this role, she is committed to advancing the frontiers of science in the polar regions through service to the Federal government. Polar Programs currently manages a budget of about $450 million that covers both Arctic and Antarctic research, logistics and infrastructure support. By leading her team through the challenges of constrained resources at a critical time for polar science, she is making positive contributions to polar science, a topic she believes matters to people everywhere. In her own words, “It is incumbent on us to manage wisely, seek efficiencies and leverage through partnerships to ensure that we continue to advance the progress of basic science and inform pressing societal decision making.”


Kristian Kristensen

Senior Researcher, Deputy Director, Center for Military Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

Kristian is currently Senior Researcher and Deputy Director of the Center for Military Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. His research interests include NATO, Western strategy and security policy, Danish defense, security and foreign policy, especially related to the Arctic.

Previously Kristian has been employed at the Danish Institute for Military Studies and the Danish Institute for International Studies and been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford. Kristian teaches at the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Armed Forces’ schools. He frequently comments on defense and security policy issues in the media.


David Biette

Global Fellow and Former Director of the Polar Initiative, Woodrow Wilson Center

Senior Advisor, Canada Institute

David Biette is a Global Fellow and Former Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative. He is also a Senior Advisor at the Canada Institute. His areas of expertise are various, including polar (Arctic and Antarctic) issues, US-Canada relations, energy, border security, and NAFTA. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) and was a Political/Economic Officer for the Canadian Consulate General in New York City. David received an M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


Jannie Staffansson

Advisor, The Arctic Environmental Unit, Sami Raddi/Saami Council

Jannie was born in a big reindeer herding family in the southern most part of Sápmi. She graduated with a degree in environmental chemistry from the University of Gothenburg and is currently writing her Master's thesis on organic chemistry. Since 2013, she has been working for the Saami Council within the Arctic Council working group AMAP (Arctic monitoring and assessment programme) as well as on other Arctic Council related issues. In 2015, she was elected to be on the Arctic Focal Point within the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change and worked in the technical team within IIPFCC, where she mobilized and negotiated as part of the UNFCCC meetings and finally during COP21 in Paris. Since  2016, she has served as the Indigenous representative on the Arctic Science Summit Steering Committee.l Studies.


Alexey Tsykarev

Member, United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Alexey Tsykarev has gone from being a member of the youth organization Nuori Karjala (Young Karelia) to heading the International Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples, which includes 50 public organizations of Russia, Finland, Hungary and Estonia. Mr. Tsykarev participated in a fellowship program on the rights of indigenous peoples in 2011 and was an indigenous intern in the Moscow office of the United Nations in 2012. He is an independent young expert possessing local, national and international experience and expertise. In March 2013, he became a member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, an advisory body for the United Nations Human Rights Council, in 2014 appointed as the vice-chair, and in July 2015 elected as the Chair-Rapporteur of the Expert Mechanism. In August 2013, he was appointed as the representative of the Republic of Karelia to the Barents Regional Youth Council for two years’ term. Mr. Tsykarev is a member of the Indigenous Peoples Council under the head of the Republic of Karelia. Mr. Tsykarev's interests include indigenous international affairs, indigenous rights, youth policies, media and the environment.


Jocelyn Joe-Strack

Member, Champagne and Aishihik First Nation and Jane Glassco Arctic Fellow, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation

Jocelyn Joe-Strack is a member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation located in the Yukon Territory of northwestern Canada.  She was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon and lives there today with her young family. Jocelyn holds a BSc in biochemistry and microbiology and MSc in Geography.  Her Master’s investigated the role of bacteria in cycling atmospherically transferred mercury in the sediments of a subarctic Yukon Lake.  She was one of the inaugural Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation’s Jane Glassco Arctic Fellows and worked on recommendations for the Yukon’s Water Strategy.  Jocelyn has just begun work towards a PhD and is working with her First Nation to develop Settlement Land Plans. Much of Jocelyn’s recent work has been focused on diversifying how we make value-based decisions in policy through her consulting business, Subarctic Research and Strategy