Published October 19, 2022 by Tom Porter

Officials from US, Greenland, and Denmark Hold High-Level Meeting on Bowdoin Campus

With its strong connection to the Arctic region and its people, Bowdoin College was the ideal venue for a recent high-level meeting between diplomats and senior government officials from the US and Greenland.
US-Greenland delegates at Arctic museum
US-Greenland Joint Committee delegates at the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum.

On October 18, 2022, more than twenty members of the US-Greenland Joint Committee held a three-hour session behind closed doors to discuss cooperation in a number of key areas: trade and investment, energy and mining, education and cultural issues, and science and technology (particularly as it relates to tackling climate change and the accelerated rate at which this is happening in Greenland).

After the meeting, representatives signed an agreement and issued a statement reaffirming the two countries’ commitment to strengthening ties in these areas. Also present were Danish officials because Greenland, while an autonomous nation, is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. This year’s meeting gave government representatives the opportunity to review progress made over the past twelve months and to set goals for the coming year. Read the statement

doug jones89 state dept.
Douglas Jones '89

Among the US delegates was Douglas Jones ’89, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Bowdoin, Jones attained a master’s in international relations from Princeton University before pursuing a career at the State Department.

After the private meeting, Jones was joined by four colleagues from the US, Greenland, and Denmark, as well as US House Representative Chellie Pingree (D)—representing Maine’s first congressional district—for an off-the-record question and answer session in Kresge Auditorium. Asking the questions were students from Bowdoin and from the University of Greenland (who joined remotely), along with members of the wider Bowdoin community. The event was moderated by anthropology professor Susan Kaplan, director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center.

“Hosting the 2022 meeting of the US-Greenland Joint Committee at Bowdoin College was a real honor,” said Kaplan. “Our students had a rare opportunity to engage with high-level diplomats and it was heartening to hear the passion with which they asked questions and the thoughtful and constructive responses of the diplomats. Outside formal settings, we made some wonderful connections with members of the delegation that will help the Arctic Studies Program with cross-border research collaborations and assist students seeking internships in various federal agencies,” she added.