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October 26, 2016

During USM Panel, King Says Leadership Lessons of Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton Should Guide U.S. in Arctic

PORTLAND, ME – This evening, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) delivered remarks about the leadership of pioneering polar explorer Ernest Shackleton during a University of Southern Maine (USM) Arctic forum titled, “Leadership, Exploration, and Survival: A Blueprint for Thriving in Our Changing World.” Senator King spoke about how Shackleton, whose extraordinary leadership helped successfully marshal his crew through a hazardous – and ultimately historic – journey into the Antarctic, should serve as a guiding force as the United States seeks to play a greater role in the Arctic.

Senator King specifically focused on ten leadership characteristics embodied by Shackleton during his journey that the U.S should emulate in the Arctic: 1) Establish a vision; 2) Compose a good team; 3) Build trust; 4) Equip yourself with knowledge that will guide your actions; 5) Persevere through hardship; 6) Exercise empathy; 7) Remain flexible and creative; 8) Communicate effectively; 9) Maintain optimism; and 10) Demonstrate character.

“The story of Ernest Shackleton and his men is one of the greatest stories of leadership ever recorded in human history,” Senator King said. “And the lessons of his journey into Antarctica are applicable to the United States in the Arctic today. As our country leads the Arctic Council, it is my hope that these principles will guide us as we work to foster cooperation and cultivate understanding among the many nations with interests in the region.”

As member of both the Senate Armed Services and Energy and Natural Resources Committees, Senator King has repeatedly highlighted dynamic security, environmental, and commercial factors in the Arctic that require the U.S. to enhance its engagement in the region. Together with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he founded the Senate Arctic Caucus in March of last year to spotlight the Arctic and open up a wider conversation about the nation’s future in the region.

In addition to Senator King today, Paul Mayewski, an internationally acclaimed scientist, polar and high altitude explorer and Director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, spoke on the theme of exploration. Patrick Arnold, an entrepreneur who develops economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable enterprises through the New England Ocean Cluster in partnership with the Iceland Ocean Cluster, also spoke on the theme of survival. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the former President of Iceland, delivered the keynote address.

Prior to the start of the event, a moment of silence was held in honor of Gordon Hamilton, a pioneering climate scientist at the University of Maine who tragically lost his in a snowmobile accident in Antarctica last week as he sought to study and understand changes in global sea ice and how those changes will affect the world.

Senator King earlier today also participated in the grand opening of The Recovery Oriented Campus Center (ROCC) at USM. The ROCC focuses on establishing peer support to build a supportive community for students in recovery from substance use and other mental health conditions. Senator King was joined there by USM President Glenn Cummings.


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