From 2002 to 2012 I served as the Executive Director of the Aleut International Association – a non-profit organization based in Anchorage, Alaska and a permanent participant of the Arctic Council (a high-level intergovernmental forum for cooperation between eight arctic states and six indigenous organizations).
During that time I was privileged to visit unique Alaskan Native villages and work in the Arctic Council. My work spanned over a wide range of projects, from contributions to the acclaimed ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2004) to the development of specific themes, such as Community Based Monitoring Handbook, 2010 (pdf).
I also participated in negotiations of international policy-relevant documents such as the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Recommendations. My involvement in the above arctic issues allowed me to better understand the needs for new knowledge and that, in turn, sparked my interest in research. Building collaborative relationships came naturally, since I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many distinguished scientists and indigenous experts.