Speakers

Vicki Lee Wallgren is the Director of the Global Arctic Programme at WWF. As such, she leads on WWF’s pan-Arctic work, bringing together a core team of senior specialists who provide thought leadership, technical and policy input to help facilitate cooperation and joint strategizing of the Arctic Programme’s goals among the various offices in the network. She is the primary contact for regional stakeholders, including the Arctic Council, and is responsible for ensuring a close dialogue with the international WWF network. Wallgren earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from McGill University (Canada) and a Master’s of Environmental Studies from Waterloo University (Canada). Prior to joining the Global Arctic Programme, Wallgren was WWF-Sweden’s Director for Forests and Wildlife team, leading a diverse team and global programming in Asia, Africa, Europe, and domestically in Sweden. She has also been part of the WWF Network’s Baltic Ecoregion Programme, and was Interim Country Director for WWF-Laos. She is passionate about developing solutions that allow people to live in harmony with nature, and supporting and strengthening others to action.

Martin Sommerkorn is Head of Conservation for the WWF's Global Arctic Programme, where he brings science underscoring the role of nature for resilience and sustainability to the policy-making table. Dr. Sommerkorn is leading WWF’s Arctic work on nature conservation, ecosystem management, governance, and climate change. He also co-chairs WWF’s global work on the ocean and climate change, and represents WWF at the forefront of international events and negotiations. Sommerkorn is passionate about developing solutions that allow people to live in harmony with nature, such as WWF’s recent ArcNet – an Arctic Ocean Network of Priority Areas for Conservation. He served as coordinating lead author of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and contributes as expert and lead author to Arctic Council projects and assessments. Before joining WWF in 2008, Sommerkorn's research career as an Arctic ecosystem ecologist allowed him to gather first-hand experience of the Arctic’s unique places, peoples, and concerns over more than 20 years of fieldwork and travels across Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard and Scandinavia.

Susan Natali is a Senior Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center. Dr. Natali is an Arctic ecologist whose focus on permafrost thaw is motivated by an acute awareness of the risks it poses. She leads Woodwell Climate’s Arctic Program, which investigates the drivers and consequences of rapid Arctic change. Her research examines the effects of climate change, including permafrost thaw and increasing wildfires, on northern ecosystems and the impact these changes have on Arctic residents and the global climate. Natali’s research team combines field research of permafrost and carbon cycling with remote sensing and modeling to assess the current and future impacts of climate change across the Arctic. She has worked extensively in remote regions of Alaska and Siberia, conducting research and—as the Director of the Polaris Project—training the next generation of Arctic scientists. Natali leads the Permafrost Pathways Initiative, which brings together leading experts in climate science, policy action, and environmental justice to inform and develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to address permafrost thaw.

Sara Olsvig is International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Olsvig served as member of the Parliament of Denmark (2011 - 2015) and the Parliament of Greenland (2013 - 2018). She has been leader of the political party Inuit Ataqatigiit and was Vice Premier and Minister of Social Affairs, Families, Gender Equality and Justice in the Government of Greenland from 2016 to 2018. She was member (2011 - 2014) and Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region from 2013 to 2014. Olsvig was an appointed member of the Constitutional Commission of Greenland, and is today member of the Human Rights Council of Greenland. She holds a Master of Science in Anthropology and is currently a Ph.D.-candidate at Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland (2020 - 2023). She lives in Nuuk, Greenland, with her partner and their children.