Why do we need an ambassador to the planet’s northernmost region?
The Arctic is “of critical strategic importance,” the State Department said when announcing the new role. Previously, the US had an Arctic coordinator who focused on the region. Elevating the job to an ambassadorship indicates just how vital it has become.
What will this person do?
Grapple with all sorts of important national-security, economic, and scientific issues. The ambassador will be working with Indigenous groups and the seven other Arctic countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.
So we’ll build an embassy at the North Pole?
Sorry, there won’t be an official US igloo. The ambassador will work in DC and travel to the region as needed, a State Department spokesperson says.
Okay, but will the Arctic ambassador at least get to meet Santa?
Only if they’re good this year.