It’s Official: Obama to Visit Anchorage Aug. 31

Photo: White House
Photo: White House

The White House announced today that President Obama will visit Alaska at the end of next month.

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On Aug. 31 Obama will visit Anchorage to address a climate-change conference the State Department is putting on called GLACIER. According to the White House, the conference will convene foreign ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic nations, along with scientists, policymakers and Arctic stakeholders. The aim is to discuss how the Arctic is changing, what it means for the rest of the world and how to address the challenges.

This will be Obama’s first trip to Alaska, other than a refueling stop at JBER in 2009 that included a speech to the troops. Secretary of State John Kerry told Sen. Lisa Murkowski months ago that he planned to accompany the president, but his travel plans were not included in the White House announcement today. Anchorage was the only location mentioned in the official statement. White House spokesperson Hallie Ruvin says more details will follow in the coming weeks.

Rumors are spreading throughout the state that the president plans to visit one or more communities in Western or Southwestern Alaska. Dillingham mayor Alice Ruby told KDLG this week that Washington staffers told her they were evaluating her city for a possible presidential visit.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz