Report Says U.S. Participation In Arctic Council Lacks Coordination, Follow-Through

A report released Monday from the Government Accountability Office suggests U.S. participation in the Arctic Council lacks coordination and follow-through.

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The U.S. and other member nations in the Council have agreed to dozens of recommendations over the years. They address, among other things, opportunities and challenges that arise as ice retreats from the region.

The GAO found the State Department, which leads the U.S. team, lacks a joint strategy for acting on these recommendations, leaving federal partner agencies unsure how to prioritize the work.

The GAO says there’s also no system for measuring outcomes.

The State Department notes the GAO report only addresses the many recommendations of the Council.

The report does not cover the more formal commitments the U.S. makes in international agreements. The State Department announced in February it will boost its Arctic representation with a special representative for the region.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska’s congressional delegation, federal agency decisions that shape life in the 49th state, money in politics and elections. She has deep roots in Alaska and this is her third stint in Washington, a city she has grown to love.

She was born in Anchorage and is a West High graduate. She studied political science at the University of Washington and has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia. During graduate school, she moved to Washington to intern as a D.C. correspondent. But for her first real journalism job, she moved back to Alaska to work at the Homer News. She was there for three years before taking a job at the Anchorage Daily News. Over the course of nine years in Anchorage, she covered City Hall, courts, state politics, and Native and rural affairs.

Then, in April 2001, she moved back to Washington to work in McClatchy Newspaper’s D.C. bureau as a correspondent for the Anchorage paper. She stayed in the position for five years.

She took a year off for a journalism fellowship at the University of Colorado in Boulder, then freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio.

When a vacancy occurred in APRN’s one-person Washington bureau, she jumped at the opportunity. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013.

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz