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Full Biography


Mike Sfraga, the Director of both the Wilson Center’s Global Risk and Resilience Program and Polar Institute, has spent most of his life living in, and exploring Alaska and the Arctic. Trained as a geographer of the Polar Regions, Sfraga is a Fulbright Scholar with a focus on the policy implications of a changing Arctic and Antarctic. Among Sfraga’s numerous affiliations, he served as Board member and Chairman of the Institute of the North; University of the Arctic’s Head of Delegation to the Arctic Council; Co-Lead Scholar for the inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative (2015-2017) and is again serving in this leadership role for the 2017-2019 Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2. Sfraga continues to work with many national and international organizations such as the Munich Security Conference, UArctic, U.S. Department of State, and maintains an active speaking schedule. 

Full Bio

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.                                                      

Michael Sfraga

Michael Sfraga

Director, Global Risk and Resilience Program & Director, Polar Institute
Once considered remote and isolated, the Arctic region is now part of the political, social, economic, security, and geopolitical landscape—this reality requires research and policy analysis now more than ever.