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Lawson Brigham

Global Fellow, Polar Institute


April 1, 2019 — April 30, 2021

Professional affiliation

Faculty, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Fellow, Center for Arctic Study & Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Wilson Center Projects

The Future of the Russian Maritime Arctic and the Northern Sea Route

Full Biography

Lawson Brigham is a Global Fellow in the Wilson Center's Polar Institute. He is a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Fellow at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Center for Arctic Study & Policy. Captain Brigham was a career Coast Guard officer and commanded four cutters including the icebreaker Polar Sea on Arctic & Antarctic expeditions. During 2004-09 he was chair of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment. He is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and earned his PhD at Cambridge University. Dr. Brigham is a member of the National Academies Polar Research Board and is a Council on Foreign Relations member. His research interests have focused on the Russian maritime Arctic, environmental change, polar marine transportation, and polar geopolitics.

Major Publications

Brigham, L.W. 2019. Russia Developing New Arctic LNG Routes. U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Annapolis, MD, Vol. 145, No. 1.


Hildebrand, L.P., L.W. Brigham, and T.M. Johansson. Editors. 2018. Sustainable Shipping in a Changing Arctic. World Maritime University Studies in Maritime Affairs    Number 7, Springer.


Brigham, L.W. 2017. The Arctic Waterway to Russia's Economic Future. Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 41, No.3 (Summer 2017 Issue)