is the Chair of The Nature Conservancy’s global Board of Directors.
Frances Ulmer is the Chair of The Nature Conservancy’s global Board of Directors. © TNC

Our People

Frances A. Ulmer

TNC Global Board Chair and Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC)

Anchorage, Alaska

  • AREAS OF EXPERTISE

    Science and Policy

  • Board Term

    October 2011 - October 2021

Biography

Frances Ulmer is the Chair of The Nature Conservancy’s global Board of Directors. She also serves as the Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC), appointed by President Obama in 2011. Ms. Ulmer currently serves as Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center and served as Visiting Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University from 2017-2018. From 2014-2017, Ms. Ulmer served as a Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy at the State Department. 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, she served as Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska’s largest public university. Before that, Ms. Ulmer was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Global Board of The Nature Conservancy and chairs 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. She previously worked as legal counsel to the Alaska Legislature, legislative assistant to Governor Jay Hammond and Director of Policy Development for the state. 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 has served on numerous local, state and federal advisory committees and boards. She 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.

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