Lise Kristiansen Falskow, a longtime Sons of Norway member and native Alaskan was recently named the new Norwegian Honorary Consul for her home state. The appointment, which was formally announced on August 26 by Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, Kåre Aas.
Falskow was born in Anchorage, Alaska and has been an active member of Sons of Norway since she was a child when her parents Kjell and Past International President Marit Kristiansen began bringing her to Bernt Balchen Lodge events.
Her background makes her perfect for this new role. In addition to holding dual citizenship and being fluent in Norwegian Falskow spent three years living and working in Norway as a Senior Financial Analyst for Norsk Hydro. More recently she has served as the President and CEO of the Alaska World Affairs Council, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing both interest and knowledge of world affairs among Alaskans. In fact, her organization hosted His Majesty King Harald V of Norway during a trip to Alaska.
As a Honorary Consul Falskow’s duties will include promoting Norwegian interests and furthering Norwegian-American cooperation in Alaska. Additionally, she will also provide emergency assistance to Norwegian citizens in Alaska.
The timing of her appointment is a critical one for Norway and the United States. Alaska is what makes the United States an Arctic nation; it also makes up one fifth of the landmass of the United States. Starting this year the United States will assume the Chairmanship of the world-wide Arctic Council. Similarly, it is relevant to note that Erna Solberg, Norway’s Prime Minister, has recently announced that “The Arctic is Norway’s most important foreign policy priority;” a diplomatic priority that has been reiterated by Norway’s Foreign Minister, Børge Brende. This focus on the Arctic by both nations will undoubtedly bring challenges to Lise Falskow in her new role as Honorary Consul for Alaska, but challenges she is aptly and uniquely qualified to meet.