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Ambassador David Balton to Join the Wilson Center

Ambassador David Balton to Join the Wilson Center

Contact: Ryan McKenna
Phone: (202) 691-4217

Top diplomat will join Center’s groundbreaking
Polar Initiative

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador David Balton as a Global Fellow with the Center’s Polar Initiative. Ambassador Balton will begin his Fellowship in 2018 and will focus on strengthening the international architecture for the governance of both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

“I’m thrilled that David Balton picked the Wilson Center - the only think tank in Washington to house a broad-based initiative on the Arctic - as his intellectual home,” said Congresswoman Jane Harman, Wilson Center President and CEO. “While here, he will focus on new policy options for governing the Arctic region, propose concrete steps to safeguard fragile Arctic ecosystems, and assess lessons learned from the Antarctic Treaty system.  The Center is living up to its rating as the top think tank in the world in transdisciplinary research, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

“I am pleased and excited to welcome David Balton to the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative. Ambassador Balton has distinguished himself for over three decades as a leading voice and expert on myriad issues related to the Arctic, Antarctic, and global oceans,” said Mike Sfraga, Director of the Polar Initiative at the Wilson Center. “His expertise will enable the Polar Initiative to advance an aggressive agenda of policy-focused research and outreach efforts of importance to the United States, Alaska, and citizens of the North, as well as the many pressing matters to be examined throughout the Antarctic region.”

David Balton will join the Wilson Center after a distinguished career at the Department of State. For over 15 years, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries. In this capacity, Ambassador Balton has overseen the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy on these matters. He recently served as Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials during the 2015-2017 U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

“I am delighted at the prospect of joining the Wilson Center in the coming months and becoming part of its Polar Initiative,” said Ambassador Balton.  “I hope to contribute to the Center’s dynamic work on these issues.”

Ambassador Balton resides in Washington, DC with his wife, Jane Bowyer Stewart, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra. They have two children, Rebecca and Timothy.


Notes to editors:

  1. The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world.

Related Program

Polar Institute

Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.  Read more