Women of the Arctic Council: Interview with Nina Buvang Vaaja, Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat 2 March 2020 In honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we spoke with some of the women who work with the Arctic Council to learn more about them, what it means to be a woman in their field and their advice for young women. Nina Buvang Vaaja is the Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat. We spoke with Nina about the meaningfulness in international relations and addressing some of today’s most important issues, the importance of seeing female role models at a young age and her advice in working past doubts to pursue the career you want. Can you tell us about yourself, your education and your current role? I am a Norwegian born in the northern city of Tromsø, Norway. My education was within the fields of political science and the Russian political systems, culture and language. For the last 10 years I have worked at the Arctic Council Secretariat, and my current role is Director. What motivated you to pursue a career in the government? While I was pursuing my education, I had an ambition to work in the field of international relations. I planned my education with that in mind, and a goal to become part of the Norwegian Foreign Service. I succeeded in that and started working with the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs almost directly after finishing my education. I have always been fascinated with cultures and how people, communities and states can work together.