Honorary Degree Recipient

The University of New Brunswick will grant an honorary doctorate of letters to Francis McGuire, businessman and community leader.

Francis McGuire holds a bachelor of arts degree from Dalhousie University, a diploma in European politics from the Institute d’études politiques in Paris, France, and a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University.

Mr. McGuire is the president (deputy minister) of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). As president, Mr. McGuire is responsible for the administration of ACOA’s operations as it works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada while championing the region’s strengths. Prior to his appointment to this role by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2017, Mr. McGuire used his extensive experience in the private and public sector to advise companies and individuals on strategy, leadership and organizational design.

From 2000-2015, Mr. McGuire served as president and CEO of Major Drilling Group International Inc., the second largest mineral drilling company in the world. Prior to that, he was the vice-president of marketing and business development of MITI Information Technology Inc. Mr. Mc Guire was responsible for growing MITI, especially in the eastern U.S. market. During his time there, MITI was recognized as Atlantic Canada’s fastest growing company.

Mr. McGuire’s extensive success in the private sector came after over a decade in New Brunswick provincial politics. From 1985 to 1997, he served in Frank McKenna’s administration – taking on senior roles as deputy minister of economic development and tourism, and as the leader of the province’s information highway secretariat.

Throughout the years, Mr. McGuire has been generous in giving his time and expertise to wider community. He has served on the board of directors of Major Drilling Group International Inc., as well as on the board of directors of Industrial Alliance – Canada’s fourth-largest insurance company. From 2015-2016, Mr. McGuire was the Chair of the New Brunswick Business Council. He served as chairman of the board of NB Power from 2007-2010.

In 2008, Atlantic Business Magazine named Mr. McGuire Atlantic Canada’s CEO of the Year. He was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in 2012. Ernst & Young named him Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.