In an effort to foster stronger community relationships and promote collaborative security solutions for the Arctic region, the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies has launched a new Coffee Talk initiative. This program aims to connect with stakeholders in the local community, facilitate discussions, and build a network of security leaders, both domestically and internationally.

Courtney Guinan, an Event Planning Program Manager at the TSC, explained that Coffee Talks serves as an in-person platform to introduce potential stakeholders to the center and to establish meaningful connections that would benefit international security cooperation efforts in the Arctic region.

“We want to form relationships with people in our community, let them know who we are, and engage in discussions that could lead to future collaboration,” Guinan explained.

Aligned with the TSC’s mission to promote understanding and provide collaborative security solutions, the Coffee Talk initiative supports the implementation plan of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, which emphasizes a whole-of-government approach to Arctic security.

“Our goal is to use Coffee Talks as a means of promoting a whole-of-government approach to implementing policy and Arctic security initiatives,” Guinan continued.

The target audience for Coffee Talk events includes government agencies, private entities, and organizations working towards promoting security within the state of Alaska. From stakeholders focused on food security to those involved in search and rescue operations, Coffee Talk aims to engage a diverse array of participants.

“Anyone with an interest or involvement in the security environment in Alaska, including the Department of Defense, state and local government organizations, and private entities, are welcome to participate,” Guinan emphasized.

Moreover, Coffee Talk events extend beyond the borders of Alaska, fostering collaboration with Canadian partners to address shared security concerns in the North American Arctic region.

“We recognize the importance of collaborating with our Canadian neighbors, as events in one country’s territory can impact the other,” Guinan stated. “Facilitating dialogue between search and rescue teams from both countries, for example, enhances efficiency and effectiveness in emergency response efforts.”

Matthew Hickey, Associate Director of the Strategic Engagement Division at the TSC, highlighted the significance of Coffee Talks in establishing a robust local network to support Arctic security efforts.

“Coffee Talks allow us to engage with relevant players in the Arctic security world, strengthening our network and positioning ourselves at the center of local and international dialogue on Arctic security,” Hickey explained.

To schedule a Coffee Talk with leaders from the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, interested parties can contact the TSC Public Affairs Office at:

Guinan emphasized the center’s readiness to accommodate various preferences, whether meetings take place at the TSC facility on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson or at external locations within communities.

“We’re open and approachable, interested in fostering relationships that benefit the state, the country and the Arctic region,” Guinan concluded.

As the Coffee Talk initiative gains momentum, the TSC remains committed to building a strong, sustainable network of security leaders and promoting collaborative security solutions for the Arctic region. With each Coffee Talk session, the center moves closer to achieving its mission of enhancing security and resilience in the Arctic and beyond.

Photo by Amber Kurka | Paul Valley from FEMA Region 10 met with leaders from the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies for the first-ever Coffee Talk event hosted by the TSC Strategic Engagement Division on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Jan. 17. The focus of these new outreach events is to build a network of partnerships within the Arctic region while also finding ways to collaborate on research, education, and engagement opportunities. View Image Page