Recognized as one of the world’s Arctic policy experts, Mead Treadwell brings an impressive record of private and public sector success to the race for Lieutenant Governor.
Mead has played a vital role in developing national policy for Alaska
Treadwell was appointed to the United States Arctic Research Commission by President George W. Bush in 2001 and designated by the President as the Commission’s chair in 2006. During his tenure, he worked with the National Security Council, the State Department and other federal agencies to craft a new United States Arctic Policy which was adopted by President Bush and is now being implemented by President Barack Obama.
The Commission helped bring together over sixty nations to conduct the International Polar Year from 2007-2009, the first time this event had been staged in fifty years. Decisions were made to begin mapping the Arctic, to support new U.S. territorial claims and to initiate better research to understand Arctic ecosystems. Treadwell was also instrumental in securing funding for a new Arctic research vessel for Alaska which will be based in Seward.
“We have helped the world get ready for an accessible Arctic”, Treadwell notes. “Alaska and the United States now have a better chance to benefit from Arctic shipping because of our work. The U.S. military and Coast Guard are also, through cooperation, better prepared for the new Arctic frontier.”
Treadwell co-authored the 2009 Commonwealth North Report, ‘Why the Arctic Matters,’ which focused on the strategic value of Alaska’s energy resources, transportation routes, defense locations, fishing, and scientific work. The Commission led the development of an eight-nation assessment of Arctic shipping, the first work of its kind in five hundred years of Arctic exploration.
Treadwell submitted his resignation from the Commission when he filed his Letter of Intent to run for Lieutenant Governor.
Mead Treadwell is recognized as one of Alaska most innovative and successful business leaders.
Mead is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Venture Ad Astra, an Anchorage company which invests in and develops new geospatial and imaging technologies.
He is also one of the founders of Digimarc, a NASDAQ-listed firm whose digital watermarking system is now used to provide anti-counterfeiting protection on the currencies of thirty nations and helps provide copyright protection on DVDs. It is sold as part of Adobe’s Photoshop program.
Treadwell served as chairman of Immersive Media Corporation (IMC) which developed the multi-view camera which Google used for its ‘Street View’ service. MapQuest currently uses Immersive Media for its 360 View street imaging. The system is used by U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect soldiers.
Mead has had a long and exciting history with Alaska
Mead Treadwell first came Alaska as a teenager in 1974 and worked as a volunteer intern in Wally Hickel’s office. It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted for thirty-six years.
“Governor Hickel invited me to return to Alaska and build my career here,” he recalls. “Wally Hickel’s enthusiasm was contagious. His spark gave Alaska the prosperity it has today, and resources for prosperity tomorrow.”
Treadwell returned to Alaska in 1977 and became a resident. After graduating from Yale in 1978, he worked as an investigative reporter for the Anchorage Times. In 1980, he was part of a team of writers that won the Blethen Award, a top prize for investigative reporting in the Pacific Northwest.
In 1982, after completing his MBA at the Harvard Business School, Treadwell joined Governors Hickel and Egan as a founder of the Yukon Pacific Corporation which started the All-Alaska gas pipeline project. He worked closely with the Reagan Administration to seek markets for Alaska’s natural gas in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, and requested permission for Alaska to sell oil and gas on world markets. He was Vice President and Treasurer of Yukon Pacific until its sale to CSX Corporation in 1989.
Mead helped lead the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and has crafted State policy to prevent and limit future disasters
During the Exxon Valdez oil spill crisis, Mead Treadwell went to Cordova and served as the city’s director of spill response. He helped Cordova create the Prince William Sound Science Center and served as a member of its board. The Center hosts America’s leading Arctic/subarctic research program, the Prince William Sound Oil Recovery Institute which Treadwell worked with Congress to endow. Treadwell helped create the Regional Citizens Advisory Councils in Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet, which serve as major watchdogs against spills today. As an Alternate Trustee of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, and later as a member of the Council’s Public Advisory Group, Treadwell has helped guide land acquisitions, restoration science and ecosystem modeling in Prince William Sound, Kodiak, Kachemak Bay and the Cook Inlet.
When Wally Hickel was elected to his second term as Alaskas Governor, he appointed Mead Treadwell to serve as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Treadwell helped write Alaska’s new oil spill regulations and established the environmental crime unit for the state.
Mead Treadwell has held leadership positions in a wide range of policy, professional, public service, governmental, and international organizations
Mead served as a member of the board of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation from 1994 to 1999, which helped provide funding for the design of the Alaska Regional Research Vessel and initial financing for the Kodiak Launch Complex. In 1999, he chaired the Fifth North Pacific Fisheries Conference, which brought together ministries of fisheries from Pacific Rim nations.
Treadwell helped establish the Siberia Alaska Gateway Project of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, which worked to open the US-Russian border with the Friendship Flight and a series of follow-on exchanges in 1988 and 1989. He led two expeditions to Wrangell Island in the Russian Arctic in 1990, and led a team of US nuclear safety experts to the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant in Chukotka in 1993. For the United States, he hosted RADEX, the Arctic nations’ first circumpolar radiation release response exercise in 1994. Treadwell is a member of the Alaska Siberia Research Center Board.
Treadwell was elected a Fellow National of the Explorers Club in 2002 and chairs the North Pacific Alaska Chapter of the Club. He is past president of the Alaska World Affairs Council, the Japan America Society of Alaska, and the Visual Arts Center of Alaska. A Rotarian, he is also a member of the Board of the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America and has served as Vice President of the Alaska public policy group Commonwealth North.
Mead Treadwell is Senior Fellow of the Institute of the North, an endowed public policy research program founded by Wally Hickel to focus on Alaska and Arctic natural resource issues, governance of public assets, geography, and national security. He served as the Institute’s first full-time Managing Director, as well as Adjunct Professor of Business when the Institute was part of Alaska Pacific University. Treadwell established the Institute’s Defense and Security Program, which has worked for over fourteen years to help the United States establish a missile defense program. Missile defense operations are now being conducted in Alaska at Fort Greely, Clear, Adak, Shemya and Kodiak.
Treadwell was an active member of Backbone, the group of Alaskan leaders who helped convince the Federal Trade Commission to veto BP’s proposed purchase of Arco. Backbone’s work brought Conoco Phillips to Alaska, ensured competition on the North Slope, and saved thousands of Alaska jobs.
Mead is committed to his family and is a proud father of three
With his late wife Carol, he has three children. Timothy, an Eagle Scout, is a competitive freestyle skier at the University of Colorado Boulder. William is in his first year at West High and Natalie is in her first year at Romig Middle School. Mead and Carol met as volunteers in charity work which ultimately led to the establishment of a series of scholarships in science education for the young people of Alaska. The “Sea Train” program, which was established in Carol’s memory, has taken over 10,000 Anchorage fifth graders to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward since her death in 2002.