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President Appoints Longtime Alaska Native Leader to U.S. Arctic Research Commission

A new member for the Arctic Research Commission ...

President Obama last week appointed longtime Alaska Native Corporation leader Marie Kasa?naaluk Greene to the commission that advises the president and Congress on Arctic research.

“She brings a tremendous degree of not only experience but knowledge and understanding of the Arctic,” says Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Credit NANA
Marie Kasa?naaluk Greene, former president and CEO for NANA Corp., is an Inupiaq from Deering, Alaska.

Ulmer says Greene’s knowledge of the Arctic is informed both by being raised there and through her executive experience, including 13 years as president and CEO of Kotzebue-based NANA Corporation.

“She has served on both private and public boards. She has run the NANA Corporation. She has been active in community,” she said.

Ulmer says Greene is dedicated to improving life for residents of the region. She says that’s an important cause for the Arctic Research Commission as well. Greene has worked on among other things improving workforce development, education and telecommunications in northwest Alaska.

Credit U.S. Arctic Research Commission
Fran Ulmer, U.S. Arctic Research Commission chair

"I think in many, many ways, she can reflect the concerns of the people of the Arctic, the people of Alaska,” Ulmer said.

Greene has also served as president of Maniilaq Association, a Native health- and social services organization also based in Kotzebue, during the 1980s and early 1990s. And she was a member of the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors for several years.

AFN Vice President Ben Mallott says Greene is the perfect person for the Arctic Research Commission.

“She’s been an AFN board member and president of NANA for a long time,” Mallott said, “and she’s a competent person and we’re happy for her. We think she’ll do a great job.”

Credit U.S. Department of the Interior
Edward Itta, outgoing U.S. Arctic Research Commission member

Ulmer says Greene will replace Edward Itta on the seven-member commission. He’s a former North Slope Borough mayor and Inupiat whaler and hunter.

“Edward Itta from Barrow did an excellent job,” Ulmer said, “similarly bringing with him much experience in the region, and the ability to translate to all of us who serve on the commission, and members of the federal government as well, an understanding of a region that is very unique – it’s both valuable and vulnerable.”
Greene earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alaska. She wasn’t available to comment on her appointment.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.