Arctic Ocean Offshore Energy Panelists

  • February 24, 2012


Michael R. Bromwich

Michael R. Bromwich was selected in June 2010 by President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reform the regulation and oversight of offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. He first served as the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management Regulation and Enforcement (June 2010-September 2011), and then as Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (October-November 2011). He directed the reorganization of the agency, oversaw the implementation of new, more rigorous regulations that enhanced safety and environmental protection, strengthened agency ethics requirements, and created an internal investigations and oversight capability. Mr. Bromwich left the Department of the Interior at the end of 2011. He is a Senior Adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Prior to his tenure at the Department of the Interior, Mr. Bromwich had a long and distinguished career in public service and in the private sector. From 1999-2010, he was a litigation partner in the Washington D.C. and New York offices of the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where he headed the firm's Internal Investigations, Compliance and Monitoring practice group. From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Bromwich served as Inspector General for the Department of Justice. In the 1980s, he served as a federal prosecutor in New York and Washington, DC. He received his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1980 and a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government the same year.  

Fran Ulmer

Fran Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in March 2011. In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was chancellor of Alaska's largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is currently serving as Resident Scholar on Arctic Research at the University of Alaska. She is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, a state representative, and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. As a state legislator, Ms. Ulmer served on the Special Committee on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Claims Settlement. In addition, she was the first Chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. Ms. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.

Vice Admiral Roger T. Rufe

Vice Admiral Roger T. Rufe is a member of the Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board and a director at PB-Heery Americas. He recently served as Chairman of a panel of federal, state, industry, and environmental experts that conducted a six month long review of our nation's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Vice Admiral Rufe is a 34-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard. During his career, he served as captain of five Coast Guard cutters and, as a flag officer, commanded the 17th Coast Guard District in Alaska and the 7th Coast Guard District in Miami with responsibility for operations in the Southeast US and the Caribbean. He later led the Coast Guard's two largest field commands as Commander, Pacific Area and Commander, Atlantic Area. After retirement from the Coast Guard, he served as President and CEO of Ocean Conservancy. He was a director of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, a director of the International SeaKeepers Society, and a member of the Pew Oceans Commission.

In July 2009, Vice Admiral Rufe completed a three year Secretarial term appointment as the first Director of the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning at the US Department of Homeland Security. He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, holds a master's degree in public administration from New York University, and is a graduate of the National War College and the Naval War College.

Edward Itta

Edward Itta is an Inupiat whaler and hunter who lives in Barrow, Alaska, America's northernmost city. He is committed to protecting the Inupiat subsistence heritage and ensuring the long-term social and economic viability of all the communities of Alaska's North Slope. Mr. Itta was elected mayor of the North Slope Borough—an area larger than 39 states—in 2005 and re-elected in 2008 through 2011. He is a member of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee, a member of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association, and a past Commissioner of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. He also served as president of the North Slope Borough School Board, as vice-chairman of the federal Subsistence Advisory Council for northern Alaska, and as president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska. Mr. Itta and his wife, Elsie, have two children and five grandchildren.

Marilyn Heiman

Marilyn Heiman joined the Pew Environment Group in January 2009 as director of the U.S. Arctic Program, which works to protect the U.S. Arctic Ocean and its marine life from rapid industrialization made possible by the warming climate and the melting ice cap. Before joining Pew, Ms. Heiman was campaign manager for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign. She served as the Secretary of Interior's Alaska policy advisor during the Clinton administration. In that capacity, she coordinated activities of the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals Management Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska. As Alaska representative to the Secretary of Interior, she served on the six-person Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

Previously, she was special assistant on natural resources and oceans for Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and was director of his statewide transition team after his election in 1994. Prior to that she worked as an aide to the House Resources Committee in the Alaska legislature during the Exxon Valdez oil spill and was staff to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Commission.