In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we preview the Polar Institute’s Arctic and U.S. National Security symposium with Director Michael Sfraga. The day-long event will include policy leaders currently developing branch-specific Arctic strategies, solicit insight from senior Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Commerce leadership, and elicit guidance and perspective from individuals representing the State of Alaska, industry, and research communities. 


Dr. Mike Sfraga is the director of the Polar Institute at the Wilson Center. A geographer by training, his work is focused on the changing geography of the Arctic and Antarctic landscapes, Arctic policy, and the impacts and implications of a changing climate on social and political regimes in the Arctic.

Sfraga previously served as vice chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) as well as faculty member, department chair, and associate dean in the UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension. He is a Fulbright Scholars, having served as co-lead scholar for the inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2015-2017, a complementary program to the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. He serves in the same capacity for the Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2 from 2017 to 2019.

He also serves as co-director of the University of the Arctic’s Institute for Arctic Policy and is an affiliate faculty member at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sfraga served as board member and chairman of the Institute of the North. He holds a PhD in geography and northern studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.              


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming.