On March 11, 2013, Leona Aglukkaq, Canadian Minister for the Arctic Council, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, announced that Patrick Borbey will become Chair of the Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) for the Canadian Chairmanship from 2013-2015.

“As Canada assumes the chairmanship in May of this year, we will lead the important work of the Arctic Council. Mr. Borbey’s extensive experience working with Northerners will be a great asset in his role as the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials,” said Minister Aglukkaq.

Patrick Borbey, originally from Elliot Lake in northern Ontario, is currently president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Before that, he served in several senior positions in the Government of Canada including Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Treaties and Aboriginal Government and Assistant Deputy Minister of Northern Affairs at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

“I look forward to working closely with SAOs from the eight Arctic States and the heads of the six Permanent Participant organizations, in managing the Arctic Council’s activities during Canada’s chairmanship period,” said Patrick Borbey.

The overarching theme for Canada’s chairmanship will be Development for the People of the North, with sub-themes of Responsible Arctic Resource Development; Safe Arctic Shipping; and Sustainable Circumpolar Communities.

Sigrid Anna Johnson, Canada’s SAO, will continue to represent Canada during the upcoming chairmanship.

Photo caption: Patrick Borbey will take on the position of SAO Chair during the Canadian Chairmanship.