Hon. Fran Ulmer
Former USARC Chair
TERM EXPIRED: February 26, 2019
FOCUS: Oil Spill Research, Interagency Collaboration, State of Alaska Governance
Fran Ulmer, the USARC chair from March 2011 to July 2020, continues to serve on the commission since being appointed by President Obama. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Earlier, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA.
In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2014 to 2017, and at the invitation of Secretary of State John Kerry, Ms. Ulmer served as a Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. In 2017-18, Ms. Ulmer was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. Since 2018, Ms. Ulmer has been a Senior Fellow in the Arctic Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.
She is the Chair of the Global Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, a state representative, and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. She previously worked as legal counsel to the Alaska Legislature, legislative assistant to Governor Jay Hammond, and Director of Policy Development for the state. In addition, she was the first Chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. She has served on numerous local, state, and federal advisory committees and boards. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.