Mead Treadwell, Fellow National ’02, is former Lt. Governor of Alaska, 2010-2014, and has been involved in Arctic exploration and political/economic/environmental cooperation in the region since the late 1970’s when he focused his undergraduate work in history and policy at Yale on Law of the Sea and developing better methods to manage fisheries in the North Pacific and Bering Seas. In the early 1980’s he traveled extensively
in the then-Soviet Arctic region and across the Canadian North, worked to organize the 1988 Friendship Flight which opened the border between Alaska and Eastern Russia and brought families divided by the Cold War back together. In 1990, he led two expeditions to Wrangel Island in the Russian Arctic, and traveled the Chukotka coastline to pioneer Arctic ecotourism in the Bering Sea region. During his work with the community of Cordova, Alaska during the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, 1989-1990, he was a co-founder of the Alaska-based Prince William Sound Science Center. He later served as Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and was the state’s representative to the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, precursor to the eight-nation Arctic Council. In 2001, Treadwell was serving as Managing Director of the Institute of the North at Alaska Pacific University, continuing work with Russia on environmental cooperation, when President George W. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. From 2006-2010, he was designated chair under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The Commission set goals for billions of dollars of funding for field research in the Arctic, advocated for other new science infrastructure worldwide, and helped launch the 2006-2008 International Polar Year. In the private sector, he is a serial entrepreneur. He chaired Immersive Media, the TVX-listed spherical camera company which pioneered StreetView for Google, and chairs the Polar Advisory Board for global satellite network Iridium (NASDAQ:IRDM), used by explorers worldwide. He is chairman of Qilak LNG, a firm working to export LNG by icebreaking tankers through the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Straits, and a member of the board of Alaska cargo airline Ryan Air. He is a Board Member and former President of Pt Capital, an Arctic focused private equity firm, with investment and advisory work in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Finland. He was a founding officer of the NASDAQ listed Digimarc, the world’s leader in digital watermarking. He is co-chair of the Polar Institute Advisory Board of the Washington, DC based Wilson Center, and is active with the NGO Arctic Circle based in Iceland, the Alaska-based Arctic Encounter, the UK based Polar Research and Policy Institute, and the news site Arctic Today. He was appointed to the Explorers Club board in 2020 and elected by the membership to the board in 2021. He chairs an ad hoc planning effort for the Club’s World Center for Exploration and serves on the Audit Committee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative of the Club. He has chaired the North Pacific Alaska Chapter and the Alaska Chapter of the Club. Treadwell was awarded Japan’s Foreign Ministers Award in 2005 and was made a member of the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon by the Government of Japan in 2020; the Northern Forum Walter J. Hickel Award, the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Lifetime Ocean Leadership Award and the Alaska Outdoor Council’s Sidney Huntington Award. He has been selected as a Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow, and a Japan Society Business Fellow. He is a graduate of Yale University (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA).