President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Catherine Blewett


Catherine Blewett assumed the role of President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency effective November 26, 2022. She currently also serves as the Deputy Minister of Economic Development at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Ms. Blewett brings a wealth of experience to the ACOA management team. From September 2020 to June 2022, she was the Chief Strategic Engagement Officer for the Ocean Frontier Institute. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet. She was the Prime Minister's personal representative (sherpa) for the International

Ms. Catherine Blewett, president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Ocean Panel – a group of world leaders focused on solutions for ocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance.

Ms. Blewett served as the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard from 2016 to 2019, where she led the development and implementation of the Oceans Act and key fisheries legislation. She led Canada's oceans initiatives for the G7 and achieved Canada’s mandate on ocean protection targets of 5 percent by 2017.

Before joining DFO, Ms. Blewett served as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet in Nova Scotia. Throughout her career, Ms. Blewett has contributed to, and led, a variety of provincial and federal portfolios, including at Immigration Nova Scotia, the Office of Aboriginal Affairs in Nova Scotia, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and ACOA. Ms. Blewett holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dalhousie University.

Atlantic Momentum

The 2023 Atlantic Canada Momentum Index, published by the Public Policy Forum, shows that the wind is truly in the Atlantic region’s sails. Across a raft of indicators, from population and immigration to productivity and quality of life, Atlantic Canada is showing it’s a national leader and not the “have-not” region of old.

ACOA’s President, Catherine Blewett, spoke to the Public Policy Forum and industry leaders about this new momentum, and the new opportunities to be seized. Read her speech and access the Momentum Index here.

Read Ms. Blewett’s closing remarks to the 2023 Atlantic Economic Forum, to see how the region can capitalize on its powerful signs of economic growth.

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