President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Francis P. McGuire


Francis P. McGuire assumed the position of President (Deputy Minister) of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency on June 12, 2017.

Mr. McGuire has served both in government and in the private sector. Having been educated in the French and English systems, and being a resident of New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, Mr. McGuire is completely at ease in working in either official language.

After stepping aside as President and CEO of Major Drilling Group International Inc., where he served from 2000 to 2015, Francis McGuire provided advice to companies and individuals on strategy, leadership and organizational design. Mr. McGuire also served on the Board of Directors of Major Drilling. Second largest mineral drilling company in the world, Major Drilling operates in over 20 countries and is listed on the TSX. In 2008, Atlantic Business Magazine named Mr. McGuire Atlantic Canada’s CEO of the Year. In 2012, Mr. McGuire was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame. Ernst & Young named him Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

Mr. McGuire served on the Board of Directors of Industrial Alliance from 2001 to 2017. Headquartered in Québec, Que, Industrial Alliance is Canada’s 4th largest insurance company. Mr. McGuire also served as Chairman of the Board of NB Power from 2007 to 2010.

Francis McGuire was the Chair of the Wallace McCain Institute for Business Leadership at the University of New Brunswick, and is an emeritus member of the New Brunswick Business Council.

From 1985 to 1997, Mr. McGuire worked in Premier Frank McKenna’s administration, including as Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, and as the Leader of the Province’s Information Highway Secretariat. As Deputy Minister, he was responsible for attracting industry to the province, for assisting local companies in their growth, for establishing the IT industry in the province, and for growing its tourism industry. Mr. McGuire served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of MITI Information Technology Inc. from 1998 to 2000. In 1999, MITI was recognized as Atlantic Canada’s fastest growing company.

Francis McGuire holds a Master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., (1974 – 1976), a Diploma in European Politics from the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, France, (1973 – 1974), and a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University (1970 – 1973). Mr. McGuire also completed the Management Training program at the University of Western Ontario’s School of Business Administration (1984) and the Marketing Management program at Queen’s University (1991). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of New Brunswick in 2017.

Mr. McGuire was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has two sons, Brendan and Dylan, and lives with his long-term partner, Elizabeth Webster. 

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