The recently retired head of the U.S. Coast Guard has been appointed as a special ambassador to the Arctic, according to a Wednesday announcement from the U.S. State Department.
Retired Adm. Robert Papp will, “lead our efforts to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic Region as the State Department’s Special Representative,” according to the statement credited to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We set out to find the right American official for this assignment, a distinguished and senior, high-level public servant with broad foreign policy experience and a passion for the Arctic.”
As commandant of the Coast Guard, Papp was a leading voice on Arctic policy.
Last year, Papp oversaw the issuance of the Coast Guard’s Arctic strategy, led a push for the Coast Guard to procure a new icebreaker for the service and has written extensively about Arctic policy.
“The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources,” Papp said in a speech in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2013.
Papp retired from the Coast Guard in May.