Advice from the Alaskan Consular Corp.

On the program this week we get to learn about the Alaskan Consular Corps. We’ll answer some questions like “who are consuls?” “why do we have them in Alaska?” and “what do they do?” This was a panel discussion featuring a number of distinguished consuls sharing with us what their jobs entail and what to expect when traveling to their home countries.



  • Diddy R.M. Hitchins PhD MBE, British Honorary Consul for Alaska. Honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with Member of British Empire (MBE) award in 2005. Inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame 2013. Now Professor Emerita but still working on international Model Arctic Council project in partnership with the Arctic Council and the University of the Arctic, which was included as an US Public Diplomacy priority for the US Presidency of the Arctic Council, and has been taken up as a continuing priority by the Finnish chairmanship.
  • Ms. Ohkeum Kwon, Deputy Consul General. Ohkeum Kwon’s career spans over three decades representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. She has been the head of the Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Anchorage since August, 2015. Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986 she has held consecutive diplomatic positions in Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, China, Italy, Egypt, and the United States. Deputy Consul General Kwon is especially delighted to share in celebrating 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Masatoshi Sato, Consul. As the Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage, he considers it as his mission to increase as many friends of Japan as possible in Alaska. In his view, the best way of achieving this goal is to increase the number of Alaskan people who visit or live in Japan.
  • Bonnie Melielo, Honorary Consul of Italy. Bonnie Melielo has traveled the length and breadth of Italy, from Milan to Soverato, from Turin to Venice. She has visited her grandmother’s village in Calabria and holds dual citizenship. As Honorary Consul Bonnie shares her passion for Italian culture, travel, food and language. In this role she facilitates the visa application process for American citizens residing in Alaska as well as assisting Italian citizens who are living in or visiting Alaska.


  • Lise Falskow- President and CEO of the Alaska World Affairs Council and she serves as the Norwegian Honorary Consul for Alaska where she is responsible for assisting Norwegian Citizens in Alaska, public diplomacy, and business promotion.



RECORDED: Friday, March 13th, 2017 at 49th Brewing Company.

BROADCAST: Tuesday, March 13th, 2018. 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. AKT


Addressing Alaskans features local lectures and forums recorded at public events taking place in Southcentral Alaska. A variety of local organizations host speakers addressing topics that matter to Alaskans. To let us know about an upcoming community event that you would like to hear on Addressing Alaskans, please Contact Us with details.

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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