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StFX appoints two Irving Shipbuilding Research Chairs


ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA – St. Francis Xavier University has selected its first two research chairs for The Brian Mulroney Institute of Government.

In collaboration with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., StFX has appointed Dr. Adam Lajeunesse as the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Marine Security Policy and Dr. Karl Skogstad as the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Marine Security Economics. 

In their new positions, Drs. LaJeunesse and Skogstad will work together 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. 

"The Mulroney Institute has the potential to be one of the country's leading centres on policy and governance, and I'm excited to be here at its beginning," says Dr. Adam Lajeunesse.  

The Brian 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.  

"The Irving Shipbuilding Chair in the Mulroney Institute of Government provides me with a great opportunity to work with other leading researchers to answer policy-relevant questions,” says Dr. Karl Skogstad. “The research produced by myself and the other researchers in the Institute will allow StFX to position itself as a leading centre in informing good government policy.”

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

“With the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we are rebuilding our marine industry, supporting Canadian technological innovation, and bringing jobs and prosperity to communities throughout the country,” says Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “These appointments will position Canadian research in the global arena, leaving a legacy of expertise and pride in our national shipbuilding industry.”

“As Canada’s chosen shipbuilder, we are proud to fund two Irving Shipbuilding research chairs at StFX,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding. “The research conducted will help create a vibrant and sustainable marine industry in Canada,  a goal of the National Shipbuilding Strategy that we are committed to achieving while our shipbuilders proudly build ships for Canada.”

“We are very fortunate to have attracted two exceptional emerging scholars to take up these Irving Shipbuilding Research Chairs as part of the Mulroney Institute of Government, says Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies and Interim Director, Mulroney Institute of Government. “Dr. Lajeunesse and Dr. Skogstad will work in very complementary research areas and we are confident that they will provide a solid foundation for the policy research efforts and impact of the new Mulroney Institute. The support by Irving Shipbuilding for these research chairs will have long-term impacts on important aspects of marine security policy research in Canada.”  

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. Adam Lajeunesse

Dr. Adam Lajeunesse

Dr. Lajeunesse holds a Masters and PhD in History from the University of Calgary, with a specialization in Canadian Arctic maritime policy. He has held postdoctoral fellowships with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as well as the Department of National Defence.  He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Military, Strategic, and Security Studies and the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, and a fellow with the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at the University of Waterloo.  Dr. Lajeunesse is a regular lecturer at the NATO Defence College (Rome) and the Canadian Forces College (Toronto), as well as a frequent speaker on northern security issues for academic, government, and military audiences.  Dr. Lajeunesse is the author of Lock, Stock and Icebergs – a history of Canada’s Arctic maritime sovereignty, which examines the evolution of Canada's northern maritime sovereignty and the interplay between American security concerns and Canadian sovereignty requirements. He has also co-authored books on China’s Arctic interests and the evolution of northern military operations in Canada, as well as numerous articles and publications on northern defence, development, shipping, governance, and maritime policy.  His current and proposed work as Irving Shipbuilding Chair will focus on Whole-of-Government operations in the Far North, Arctic security, and northern history.

Dr. Karl Skogstad

 Dr. Karl Skogstad

Dr. Skogstad holds a Masters and PhD in Economics from Queen’s University. He is currently the Derek and Joan Burney Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Economics and the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration (CESME) at Lakehead University.  Dr. Skogstad's research focuses on economic issues related to national defence.  His research has examined topics such as Canadian naval shipbuilding during the Second World War, how countries determine the amount of resources to allocate to their militaries, and evaluations of defence industrial policies.  His future research as the Irving Shipbuilding Chair will focus on quantifying the benefits and costs of maintaining domestic arms production as well evaluating the efficiency of government programs that seek to develop industries in this area.

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: (506) 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. Discover the top ten reasons why you should study at StFX 
About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service 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