- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she wants to ensure the country’s Arctic representative isn’t relegated to the “kids’ table.”

She says if the U.S. is to be viewed as a leader on Arctic issues, the person who holds the newly announced position of Special Representative for the Arctic Region must have gravitas, be a recognized authority on all-things-Arctic and have the authority within President Barack Obama’s administration to act.

She says she wants to ensure the person is on par with other nations’ Arctic ambassadors and sitting at the table with them.

Secretary of State John Kerry last week told Alaska’s U.S. senators he planned to name a “high-level individual of substantial stature and expertise.” He said he hoped to get input from them in creating and filling the post.