The Arctic Frontier
Partnership for a Secure America was thrilled to host an off-the-record dinner on August 20 with Admiral Robert Papp, former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. The dinner discussion was attended by participants in the Summer 2018 Congressional Partnership Program.
Admiral Papp addressed current national security challenges facing the United States including the strategic role the Arctic plays in advancing US security interests. He stressed the growing strategic importance of the Arctic as it relates to environmental, maritime security, and economic issues. Of particular concern was China’s growing interest and role in the region as well as Russia’s military expansion in the Arctic Circle and the effects these developments could have on global politics. Admiral Papp made clear that as climate change persists and ice in the Arctic melts, human activity from Russia, China, and elsewhere will only increase, creating new challenges and opportunities in the region. Admiral Papp concluded by sharing the lessons he learned as Chief of Congressional Affairs for the Coast Guard regarding the importance of bipartisanship and its role in building compromise and enacting sound policy.
Admiral Robert Papp
Robert “Bob” Papp came onboard representing Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. in Washington. D.C. in January 2017 and leads the strategic engagement in intergovernmental and industry operations. Admiral Papp served as an Officer in the Coast Guard for nearly 40 years, completing his career as the 24th Commandant of the U. S. Coast Guard from 2010 to 2014. The Coast Guard is the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was a career cutterman, serving in six cutters, commanding four of them, including the Coast Guard’s square rigged sailing ship, USCG Barque EAGLE. As a flag officer, Admiral Papp served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; as the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard and Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Headquarters; as Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District; and as Director of Reserve and Training.
Upon retirement from the Coast Guard, he was called to duty at the U.S Department of State as the U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, where he led the effort to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic Region, with a focus on Arctic Ocean governance, climate change, economic, environmental, and security issues in the Arctic region as the United States holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2015-2017.