Consular Conversations America's Strategic Challenge of a Warmer Arctic Region

About this event

Join us on January 29 for the next installment of Consular Conversations with Jim DeHart, Consul General for the United States of America, as he addresses the international challenges associated with a rapidly changing Arctic region.

The Arctic, home to more than four million people in eight countries, is undergoing a dramatic transformation due to climate change, with significant impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and livelihoods. As the Arctic warms, it will become more accessible for shipping, mining, energy development, fishing, tourism, and other human activities. It also poses new security risks for the United States and Canada. Recognizing the Arctic’s strategic importance, the Biden-Harris administration released a new National Strategy for the Arctic Region in October 2022. The U.S. Strategy addresses security, climate change and environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and international cooperation and governance.

Prior to his assignment in Vancouver, Jim DeHart served as the U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region and will share his thoughts on the U.S. approach, which seeks an Arctic region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous, and cooperative.

The SFU School for International Studies' Consular Conversations series is a monthly public forum featuring discussions with members of the Consular Corps in Vancouver. These conversations are moderated by Dr. Ricardo Arredondo, an IS Adjunct Professor and Consul General of Argentina. The goal is to bring together the Consular Corps of British Columbia for public lectures that encourage dialogue on issues that transcend borders, explore inspiring topics, and cultivate connections. The primary audience will be members of the Consular Corps of British Columbia and the Schools for International Studies and Public Policy. This is an exceptional opportunity for students in both SFU units.


Jim DeHart is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with 31 years of experience as a U.S. diplomat. He holds the rank of Minister Counselor. Jim served previously as Coordinator for Special Immigrant Visa Diplomacy. In 2022, he completed his two-year assignment as U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region. He brings significant experience in regional security, civilian-military cooperation, and international negotiations. A hallmark of his career has been close collaboration with U.S. allies and partners to advance our shared interests and values.

In 2021, Jim helped lead the evacuation of American citizens and Afghan Allies from Kabul and led the Afghanistan Task Force in Washington. From 2019-2020, Jim led the negotiation of status of forces, defense cooperation, and burden-sharing agreements worldwide. He served twice in Afghanistan – as Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2018-2019) and in Panjshir Province as Director of the only civilian-led U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team (2009- 2010). From 2015–2018, Jim served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Oslo, Norway, with extended periods as Chargé d’Affaires. Previously, he was Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) where he oversaw assistance programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and global programs targeting corruption, money laundering, and organized crime. From 2010-2013, Jim was Director of the Office of Afghanistan Affairs.

Jim was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University where he taught a graduate-level course on NATO enlargement and wrote for publication. He served as Director for Central Asia on the National Security Council Staff at the White House and as Deputy Director for Caucasus and Central Asian Affairs at the State Department. He worked for two Under Secretaries of State as Special Assistant for Europe and Eurasia and served overseas at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium; in Melbourne, Australia; and in Istanbul, Turkey. He also served as desk officer for Greece and in the State Department Operations Center.

Jim was raised in a Foreign Service family in Australia, Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Washington, DC, and Central Oregon. He holds a B.A. from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and a master’s in International Affairs from The Elliott School at George Washington University. He is married to Lisa DeHart, a teacher. They have two daughters.

January 29, 2024

4:00 PM

SFU Harbour Centre Room 7000




  • School for International Studies