Return to Newsroom

New Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy announced for StFX


ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA –  St. Francis Xavier University, in collaboration with Irving Shipbuilding Inc, would like to announce its new Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy, Dr. Peter Kikkert for the Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University.

Dr. Kikkert will work to research Canada’s role in global marine security issues with a focus on the Arctic region, and will contribute to strengthening the marine industry in Canada.

 Peter Kikkert - 2


“I am very excited to be a part of the Mulroney Institute of Government,” said Dr. Peter Kikkert, Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy. “This Institution is set to become a leader in the field of public policy and governance and I’m pleased to be a part of this important work and share and expand my research in arctic and marine policy issues.”

His research work will be a strong complement to that of Dr. Lajeunesse, Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Artic Marine Security at StFX, and they will form a great collaborative team. 


Dr. Kikkert’s research focuses on security, sovereignty, stewardship and international legal issues in the polar regions. His current and proposed work as Irving Shipbuilding Chair will focus on the development of the Polar Code, the evolution of Northern transportation systems and the enhancement of local search and rescue and emergency response capabilities in northern communities.


“We are delighted with the appointment of Dr. Peter Kikkert as Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy”, noted Dr. Richard Isnor, Interim Director of the Mulroney Institute of Government and Associate Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies.  “His research work will be a strong complement to Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security, who has already had a tremendous impact in advancing research efforts at the Mulroney Institute in his first year at StFX.  Dr. Kikkert and Dr. Lajeunesse are research collaborators and I expect they will continue to form a strong collaborative team linking with other researchers from across the country and internationally.  The strong support of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for each of these Research Chairs have helped to establish a unique pillar of Arctic-oriented research at the Mulroney Institute of Government that will help inform policy in a range of sectors.”  


The Mulroney Institute of Government, which was announced in October, 2016, will be Canada’s leading centre for undergraduate teaching and research in the field of public policy and governance. A cornerstone of the project includes an endowment that is in excess of $20 million for academic chairs and student scholarships and bursaries.  

Irving Shipbuilding has provided $1 million in funding for two Irving Shipbuilding Chair positions as part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy – Canada’s 30-year plan to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. 

“Irving Shipbuilding is proud to welcome Dr. Kikkert to St FX as an Irving Shipbuilding research chair,” said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding. “We know the work undertaken by the two Irving Shipbuilding chairs will inspire students and increase the knowledge of Canada’s growing marine industry, supporting the mandate of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.”

In 2011, Irving Shipbuilding was selected by the Government of Canada to construct Canada’s future naval combatant fleet and committed to investing 0.5% of its contract revenues in creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. This will amount to approximately $12.5M over the construction of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, the first class of vessel under construction at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.


Dr. Peter Kikkert


Dr. Kikkert holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in History from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Arts Degree in History from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD in History from Western University. While undertaking his doctorate, Dr. Kikkert held a two-year teaching appointment in the Bachelor of Education program at Aurora College, in the Northwest Territories, where he taught Circumpolar, Canadian and Indigenous Studies courses. In 2016, Dr. Kikkert was awarded a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at Trent University’s Frost Centre for Canadian and Indigenous Studies. He is coming to StFX from the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. He continues to serve as a research fellow and deputy chair of the Circumpolar and Aboriginal Affairs Research Group at St. Jerome University’s Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism. Dr. Kikkert has written extensively on sovereignty and security issues in the Arctic, the role of the Canadian Armed Forces, leadership in the Canadian Rangers, the development of northern communities, the challenges and possibilities of Arctic shipping, and the evolution of international law in the polar regions.

For more information on this announcement:



Cindy MacKenzie

Manager of Media Relations

Saint Francis Xavier University

Work: (902) 867-2401

Cell: (902) 872-0612


Sean Lewis  

Director, Communications

Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Work: (902) 484-4595

Cell: (902) 240-6964


About St Francis Xavier University


Consistently recognized as one of the best universities in Canada, StFX exceeds the needs of today’s undergraduates through providing the very best academic experience -- outstanding teaching, exceptional hands-on research opportunities, global exchanges, all within Canada’s most vibrant and inspiring residential campus. For more, visit

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.


Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Canada’s National Shipbuilder, is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service ship support provider in North America. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our skilled team and innovative facilities provide efficient building, fabrication, conversion and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms. As Canada’s chosen shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is working with the Royal Canadian Navy on the next class of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We are proud to continue our long history as a trusted partner in Canadian shipbuilding. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies, a diverse family owned company with operations in Canada and the United States. Learn more at or