By Hillary LeBail
The Department of State formally announced that James DeHart would assume the new role of U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, July 29. The announcement comes at a time when the United States is increasing its engagement on Arctic issues and reflects the Department’s ongoing commitment to the region. DeHart, a member of the Senior Foreign Service whose career spans 28 years in the Department, now finds himself serving as the principal advisor to the secretary and the deputy secretary on all Arctic matters. In this position, he will lead and coordinate the Department’s policy-making and diplomatic engagement on Arctic-related issues to advance U.S. interests in the region.
“Years from now, I think people will look back on this summer as a pivot point for U.S. engagement on the Arctic, as we launch a comprehensive and integrated approach that will be sustained long into the future,” said DeHart. “I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s definitely a new day for the Arctic here at the State Department.”
The United States plays a critical leadership role in Arctic issues within the international community. It remains committed to ensuring a peaceful region where U.S. interests are safeguarded, the U.S. homeland is protected, and Arctic states work cooperatively to address shared challenges. The Department works across the federal government and with state and local government and Arctic indigenous communities to maintain U.S. leadership in the region to ensure a safe, secure, and prosperous future for all Arctic peoples. The appointment of DeHart reaffirms the commitment of the United States to that mission.
Hillary LeBail is a senior advisor in the Office of the U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region.