Yesterday, we shared the news that Scott Fogarty is leaving his position at the Northern Center. Scott sent this message to our community:

Like many of you, these recent years have shown me how unpredictable life can be, and taught me to adapt to the unexpected. In keeping with these lessons, I must bid farewell, and to inform you that I am regretfully having to leave the Northern Center to spend more time with family. While this phrase can be so over-used as to lose its meaning, it is my sincerest truth in making this decision.


Working with this organization has been an amazing and life changing experience, and I will miss the people of the Northern Center so very much. This is very bittersweet for me as I have come to love the work and have met wonderful partners, staff, board, and supporters.


While my time here has been short, I believe that life is a journey and not a destination, and this journey has been a learning one and has shaped my life, and my family’s for years to come. I learned so much about the Arctic community, about issues facing Indigenous communities, and about the necessity of the work we do. I trust that my tenure here will help continue to move the Northern Center on a path of doing the “right thing for the right reason,” and those reasons are grounded in  the benefit of the planet and all its inhabitants.


I will always be an ambassador for the Northern Center and the work being done here. The friendships and comradery I made will be with me for the rest of my days and will inform my every move in the future.


I rest easy with the knowledge that the organization that I was welcomed into will continue to be in excellent hands. Elisabeth Balster Dabney will re-take the reins and continue to lead with purpose, strength, and empathy. My family intends to return to Fairbanks often to tell stories, laugh and grow relationships that have guided and supported us in our transition.


Charles Dickens said “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again”. Many thanks to all of those who have walked with me in my time here, and until we meet again, thank you for your dedication, commitment, humor, and friendship.


Very sincerely,


Scott Fogarty

Elisabeth Balster Dabney, who has been serving in the Deputy Director position, will step into the role of Interim Executive Director. Elisabeth says, “I was honored and humbled to be asked by the Board of Directors to serve as Interim Executive Director. I love this organization and the communities of people and wildlife it serves. I hope that my tenure can provide continuity and institutional knowledge as we move forward, deepening our relationships with the people and organizations that also work to protect Alaska’s lands and waters, and defend the communities that depend on them.”