The North Star Award for International Excellence established by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in May 2008 honors businesses and organizations that are active internationally (International Excellence, 2009, ¶1).

“The awards will be presented in May 2009 to honor Alaska businesses, schools, and other organizations that improve life in Alaska through international activity and accomplishments in nine categories: trade (export of goods), trade (export of services), foreign investment, education, tourism, transportation, cultural exchange, humanitarian exchange or scientific exchange” (International Excellence, 2009, ¶1).

“Alaskans may nominate themselves or others for these awards. Awards are given in several categories in any given year but are not necessarily given in all categories each year. The Export Council of Alaska and others will assist the State of Alaska in reviewing nominations” (International Excellence, 2009, ¶4).

“Nominations are due by 5:00 pm, April 30, 2009. Nominations consist of no more than five pages of material explaining the nature and success of the international activities that have occurred in the five-year period prior to the award. The nomination instructions and form are at http://www.gov.state.ak.us/trade/ (International Excellence, 2009, ¶5).

“The five companies and organizations honored last year were: Kenai LNG Plant for trade (export of goods); Aleut International Association for scientific exchange; Sand Lake Elementary Japanese Immersion Program for education and cultural exchange; Sumitomo Metal Mining for foreign investment; and Institute of the North for transportation” (International Excellence, 2009, ¶6)

Commentary

One of the byproducts of the 2008 Presidential campaign was the regular attacks on Governor Palin’s international experience. While the establishment of these awards does not constitute foreign policy vis-a-vis relationships between the governments of sovereign nations, it is nonetheless important international experience. Some $3.6 billion per year is exported from the state of Alaska, which is a critical hub for goods destined to and from the Pacific Rim.

Awarding and recognizing businesses involved in the nine aspects of international activity delineated above indicates the Governor’s commitment to ensuring that Alaska is and remains an international powerhouse. Though issued as routine press release, which was largely unreported, unstated is the significant underlying international experience that made this North Star Award possible. It was Governor Palin who conceived, developed, and implemented the award; she delineated with clarity its nine categories, and in so doing is fostering continued and increased global trade through her state.

Governor Palin has significant expertise and experience with international trade. Meetings with diplomats, consuls general and other international representatives from all parts of the world are routine for her — the Governor is for practical purposes operating her own World Trade Center — something governors of very few states can claim — and something which she can and should be proud of. She doesn’t even need a pair of 110-story offset buildings to operate her WTC from. The breadth and depth of her international experience as President and CEO of her state is preparing Governor Palin to handle international matters on a larger scale — a very much larger scale….

References

Nominees sought for Governor’s North Star Awards for International Excellence. (2009, April 7). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved April 9, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1742

Tags: Sarah Palin