The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent organization that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities and responsible economic development through the sharing of best practices, technological solutions, standards, and other information.
We work to facilitate responsible business and economic development of the Arctic and its communities. Our goal is to share and advocate for best practices, technological solutions, and standards. We support market accessibility and provide advice and a business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. Our members represent a wide range of businesses operating in the Arctic—from mining and shipping companies to reindeer herding and indigenous economic development corporations. This mix of interests across business sectors ensures that our work is carried out in an inclusive and sustainable manner. Representing the wide variety of Arctic businesses, it is important for the AEC to also be the voice of small and medium sized enterprises.
We represent the true depth of Arctic know-how. Among our representatives we have experience in doing business across the Arctic. Local knowledge is often key in operating in the Arctic. Engaging with the AEC gives you the opportunity to access both local and indigenous knowledge.
The AEC is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. We are open to membership applications from Arctic and sub-Arctic entities. For further information on how to become a member of the Arctic Economic Council, please click “Membership” underneath and feel free to contact the AEC: firstname.lastname@example.org
The AEC is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. There are three membership groups:
Legacy Members: Legacy membership includes 3 business representatives from each Arctic state and 3 representatives from each Permanent Participant organization. This is the voting membership of the Arctic Economic Council.
Arctic Partner: Global focus is shifting North and there is growing interest by non-AEC members to participate in the AEC. If we are true to the “AEC Way” of building on the pillars of collaboration, partnership, innovation and peace, it is imperative for the AEC to provide both Arctic and non-Arctic stakeholders an opportunity to participate, interact and collaborate with the Legacy Members of the AEC. By creating two different non-voting membership categories the AEC ensures that it is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. Members may contribute to AEC content, in various forms including, but not limited to, submitting ideas, participating in Working Groups and making presentations.
Permafrost Partner: Micro, small and medium businesses support the “active layers” in our remote Arctic communities. They bring an important perspective about doing business in the Arctic. They deserve an opportunity to have a voice within the AEC. The Permafrost Partner is designed for micro, small or medium businesses with 15 employees or less with their business domiciled or headquarters located within an Arctic state.
The work of the Arctic Economic Council is guided by the members of the Executive Committee:
Heidar Gudjonsson serves as the Arctic Economic Council’s Chairman during the Icelandic business community’s chairmanship (2019-2021).
Mr. Gudjonsson is the CEO of Sýn hf. (Vodafone), vice-chairman of HS Utility and chairman of the first infrastructure investment fund in the Arctic, Innviðir fjárfestingar slhf. (2015). Gudjonsson has been working in business in the Arctic for the last 20 years. After finishing his economic studies at the University of Iceland business led him to work in New York, London and Zurich, for close to two decades, but always with one foot firmly set in Iceland. Gudjonsson has built hydropower plants in the area, invested in infrastructure through electricity and water utilities and founded a Norwegian Icelandic oil exploration company.
He is the Chairman of the Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce, is on the Advisory Board of the Arctic Circle and author of the “Arctic Push” (2013), a bestseller in Iceland.
AEC Vice Chair,Russian Federation
Evgeniy Ambrosov is Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of PAO Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company and one of the world’s leading transporters of energy by sea. He joined the company in June 2009, with responsibility for commercial fleet operations, including a sophisticated fleet operating in the harsh environments of the Far Eastern and Arctic seas and for developing the potential of the Northern Sea Route for large tankers’ transits. A graduate of the Maritime State University in Vladivostok, Russia (1979), Mr. Ambrosov worked for nearly 30 years in Russia’s Far Eastern Shipping Company, rising from the position of Cargo Superintendent to President & CEO of the company. Company website.
AEC Vice Chair,Norway
Erling Kvadsheim is the International Director at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association. He has spent his entire career in the oil and gas sector and knows the industry and the issues that are important for this sector very well.
He has a background as geologist, and has worked in oil companies, for the Norwegian authorities, as a strategy consultant and now as head of one of the departments in the oil companies’ industry association. Among his responsibilities are international relations and Arctic issues.
AEC Vice Chair,Aleut International Association (AIA)
Mr. Mack is the President & CEO of The Aleut Corporation. Mr. Mack oversees the corporation’s business operations and subsidiaries which provide Government Contracting, Fuel Sales, Mechanical Construction, Radiochemical Analysis and Remediation, Industrial Products and Services and Real Estate Management. The Company also participates in various partnerships, joint ventures and other business activities.
The Aleut Corporation is one of the thirteen Regional Native Corporations that were established in 1972 under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Company website.
Mr. Mack was raised in King Cove, located on the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, and is an original shareholder of both The Aleut Corporation and King Cove Corporation. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Alaska Pacific University, a Master’s of Science degree from Western Oregon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Mr. Mack also completed numerous executive leadership programs at Stanford University, the University of Chicago Booth and Harvard University.
AEC Vice Chair,Finland
Mr. Tero Vauraste is the owner and Managing Director of Mariadi Ltd., an Arctic, maritime and business consultancy agency serving international clientele since 2018. In 2009-2018, he served as President and CEO of Arctia Ltd., a Finnish polar maritime services company in ice-breaking, research and oil spill response, operating 11 icebreakers in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic. In 2007-2009 he was managing director of Hertz Car Rental in Finland and in 2001-2007 Senior Vice President with Finnair, managing airport ground handling in Arctic conditions in Northern Europe. Late 1990’s he worked as a HRd Manager and Unit Manager in for airport and refinery security in Securitas ltd.
Mr. Vauraste has served the Arctic Economic Council since its’ initiation in 2014. He was the Chairman during the Finnish business community’s chairmanship (2017-2019) and currently holds the position as one of the Arctic Economic Council’s four Vice Chairs. Mr. Tero Vauraste has a degree of MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management / Leicester University and a Naval officer’s degree from the Finnish Naval Academy being a Lieutenant-Commander (Ret).
Mr. Vauraste has served as a vessel master, special unit commander and as a SAR instructor in Finnish Coast Guard. Among his many positions of trust, he is the Chairman of Finnish Arctic Society and a member of Advisory Board of Finnish Lifeboat Institution. He is a Senior Global Fellow of Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has provided many influental papers on Arctic economic development and is a known speaker in the international Arctic fora.
The Governance Committee shall manage and control all of the governance affairs of the AEC.
The Governance Committee consists of one representative from each Arctic State and Permanent Participant organization
Executive Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, working to contribute to maintenance and development of a sustainable reindeer husbandry in the circumpolar areas.
Representative for:Saami Council
AEC Vice Chair
Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Sovcomflot.
Representative for:Russian Federation
AEC Vice Chair
President of the Aleut Corporation, one of the twelve Regional Native Corporations that were established in 1972 under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).
Representative for:Aleut International Association (AIA)
Senior adviser of Danish Shipping
Representative for:Kingdom of Denmark
President & CEO of Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC).
Representative for:United States of America
President of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON).
Representative for:Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON)
Heidar Gudjonsson serves as the AEC’s Chairman. Mr. Gudjonsson is the CEO of Sýn hf. (Vodafone), vice-chairman of HS Utility and chairman of the first infrastructure investment fund in the Arctic, Innviðir fjárfestingar slhf. (2015)
Vice-President, Health, Safety and Community at Agnico Eagle
AEC Vice Chair
Erling Kvadsheim is the International Director at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.