December 19, 2018

Forum Will Address Arctic Challenges

Arctic Domain defense forum

Join The Patuxent Partnership on Dec. 12 for the 12th annual Patuxent Defense Forum to hear from experts, leaders, and policymakers, such as retired Rear Adm. John White, retired Maj. Gen. Randy Kee, Dr. Walter Berbrick, Dr. Michael Sfraga, and others as they address issues central to US defense and foreign affairs in the Arctic.

As the Arctic Ocean opens, will the US become embroiled in the same kind of contention we’ve seen with the South China Sea? What does it mean for the Navy and US global strategy? What exactly is our understanding about this complex economic, natural, and security environment? What is our way forward?

The Arctic Domain: From Economics to National Security forum will be held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The cost is $75 for TPP members, SMCM alums, and 1634 Society members, and $100 for non-TPP members.

The event is being presented by The Patuxent Partnership and the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Register here.

This program meets the requirements for the US Government Federal Training Program. Federal employees should complete the SF-182 Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training. Acquisition workforce attendees earn eight CLPs.


Keynote speaker will the USAF retired Maj. Gen. Randy “Church” Kee, Executive Director, Arctic Domain Awareness Center, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence hosted by the University of Alaska.

Maj. Gen. Kee arrived at the University of Alaska in January 2016 following a 30-year career in the US Air Force. Among numerous command and staff assignments, Kee has also served as Vice Commander of the US Air Force’s Global Air Mobility Operations Center. He has been a contributor on US Arctic Strategy and Policy development, supported domain awareness technology development, and contributed to Defense Support to US federal agencies on several Arctic Search, Rescue and Humanitarian Assistance planning initiatives. Along with a Norwegian Director of Strategy, Gen. Kee served as co-chair of the Multi-national Arctic Security Forces Roundtable. He culminated his military service as the Director of Strategy, Policy, Planning and Capabilities for US European Command, Stuttgart Germany.

Other speakers include:

  • Rear Adm. Jon White, USN (ret.), President and CEO at Consortium for Ocean Leadership
  • Ms. Cara Condit, Executive Director, Center for Arctic Study and Policy, USCGA
  • Mr. Sean Moon, DHS Director of Global Strategy & Policy
  • Dr. Michael Sfraga, Director, Polar Initiative, The Woodrow Wilson Center


8:30-9 am

Keynote Speaker — Maj. Gen. Randy “Church” Kee, USAF (ret.), Executive Director, Arctic Domain Awareness Center, a DHS CoE, hosted by University of Alaska

9-10:30 am

Economy vs. Environment, Not a Zero-sum Game

Topics include: Resource extraction, energy, destination/ecotourism, climate change/environment

Moderator: Dr. John Farrell, Executive Director, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Mr. Robert Dillon, Dillon Strategic Communication; Visiting Fellow, Institute of the North

Mr. John Guy, Deputy Executive Director, National Petroleum Council

Cmdr. Ruth Lane, Director and Commanding Officer, U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC)

Dr. John T. Oliver, Senior Ocean Policy Advisor, USCG HQ

Dr. Michael Sfraga, Director, Polar Initiative, The Woodrow Wilson Center

10:30-10:45 am


10:45 am-12:15 pm

Maritime Challenges Across the Arctic

Topics include: historical “ownership” interests, the Arctic Map today – opposing views/contested ownership

Moderator: Rear Adm. Jon White, USN (ret.), President and CEO at Consortium for Ocean Leadership


Ms. Helen Brohl, Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS)

Ms. Cara Condit, Executive Director, Center for Arctic Study and Policy, USCGA

Mr. Michael Emerson, SES, Director for Marine Transportation Systems and Sr. Arctic Policy Advisor, United States Coast Guard HQ

Ms. Nichola Payne, Embassy of Canada, Washington, DC

12:15-1:15 pm


1:15-3 pm

National Security in the Arctic

Topics include: International Agreements and Organizations, U.S. Strategic Policy, Parallels to China’s activities in the South China Sea, Intelligence/Cyber/Space

Moderator:  Rear Adm. Rudy Peschel, USCG (ret.)


Mr. Sean Moon, DHS Director of Global Strategy & Policy

Ms. Iina Petonen, Embassy of Finland, Washington D.C.

Capt. Steven Thornton, Navy, Deputy Commander for JTF North, Yellowknife, NWT

Capt. Harry Schmidt, USCG Deputy Director for National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO)

3-3:30 pm


3:30-4 pm

Afternoon Speaker

Dr. Walter Berbrick, Associate Professor in the War Gaming Department and Founding Director of the Arctic Studies Group at the US Naval War College

4-4:15 pm

Closing Remarks

Maj. Gen. Randy “Church” Kee, USAF (ret.), Executive Director, Arctic Domain Awareness Center, a DHS CoE, hosted by University of Alaska

4:30-5:30 pm

Reception at the Historic St. Mary’s City State House

About The Patuxent Partnership

TPP fosters collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and expertise across a diverse network that includes government, industry, and academia. TPP also supports STEM education and workforce development within the local community including hosting programs of interest to NAVAIR, NAWCAD, and the broader DoD community.

To learn more about The Patuxent Partnerships and its programs, visit its Leader member page.

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