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USARC’s seven Commissioners, appointed by the President, include four members from academic or research institutions, two members from private industry undertaking commercial activities in the Arctic, and one member from among the indigenous residents of the Arctic. The Director of the National Science Foundation serves as an ex officio eighth member.

Consistent with USARC’s duty, defined in law, to “cooperate with the Governor of the State of Alaska and with agencies and organizations of that State which the Governor may designate with respect to the formulation of Arctic research policy,” the Governor has traditionally designated a representative to the Commission.

Advisors are appointed by the Commission on an “as needed” basis to provide information and advice on particular research needs and issues of concern to the Commission, review draft documents of the Commission, and convey information of importance on the various scientific and engineering disciplines they represent.

The Commission staff consists of an Executive Director and a Communications Specialist in the Commission’s Arlington, Virginia, office and a Deputy Executive Director in the Anchorage, Alaska, office.