DoD Selects Senior Advisor for Arctic Security Affairs

Kee to Oversee Establishment of Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski today congratulated Major General (Ret.) Randy “Church” Kee on his selection by the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as the Senior Advisor for Arctic Security Affairs. In this role, Kee will oversee the establishment of the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, the sixth DoD Regional Center and the only one specifically focused on the Arctic. Named in honor of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, the Stevens Center will support and strengthen advances DoD is making in the Arctic, using security cooperation, research and academia, and diplomacy. As Senior Advisor for Arctic Security Affairs, Kee will work on the Stevens Center’s program design and program plans, conduct initial outreach, assist with staffing, oversee contract support, direct initial curriculum development, advise policy and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and oversee site repairs and refurbishment work as needed.

Senators Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-AK) sponsored the initiative to create the Stevens Center in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, and through her role as an appropriator, Murkowski secured $10 million for the Stevens Center in the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations package.

“Congratulations to Major General Church Kee for taking the helm of this new and important position. Church is a dedicated leader. His Arctic experience is vast. His military service is distinguished. On top of all that, he is an Alaskan. He’s undoubtedly the right man for this job,” said Senator Murkowski. “Church keenly understands the importance of the Arctic and a strong national defense to Alaska and the nation. He has the experience necessary to lead the establishment of the new center for Arctic Security Studies—to find solutions for the greatest security challenges in the Arctic Region, while promoting greater engagement to address the challenges that lay ahead. I look forward to collaborating and working with him. This is a big and welcome step towards making the Ted Stevens Center a reality. I now look forward to DoD’s next steps, including selecting a location for the center.”

Background: Senator Murkowski is the leading expert among her Congressional colleagues on Arctic issues and has worked continuously to raise awareness of the region. At the beginning of the 114th Congress, Senator Murkowski and Senator Angus King (I-ME) formed the Senate Arctic Caucus to advance issues important to the Arctic and to the people who live there. Murkowski is the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. Murkowski has also led the charge to recapitalize and expand America’s fleet of Polar Security Cutters (also known as icebreakers).

Related Issues: Defense