“State Dept. Creating Arctic Ambassador Post,” Bridget Johnson writes at the PJ Tatler:
An Alaska senator said the State Department called his office today to say that they would be creating a post for a U.S. ambassador to the Arctic.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced the United States Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs Act a year ago, pressing Secretary of State John Kerry to make the appointment on economic and national security grounds.
Six of the eight Arctic nations currently have ambassador-level diplomats representing their interests before the Arctic Council. The United States will assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.
“It’s not always easy explaining to Washington bureaucrats how things are different at home in Alaska, but today’s decision by Secretary of State John Kerry to finally create an Arctic Ambassador is an important step in the right direction,” said Begich. “The bottom line is that the changes we see in the Arctic warrant a higher level of involvement from the U.S. and this position will allow us to better exercise leadership and vision in Arctic policy moving forward.”
Begich first introduced a bill pushing for an American Arctic Ambassador when he came to the Senate in 2008 and he’s reintroduced it each Congress.
His bill in the 113th Congress had one co-sponsor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
As Bridget quips, “No word on whether the Arctic ambassador will have to have ever been to the Arctic.”
Talk about being sentenced to Siberia — now we know where the person who bundles the least amount of cash for the Obama campaign gets sent as a “reward” for his efforts.