Ottawa names Foreign Affairs official to top Arctic Council job

Vincent Rigby of DFAIT will replace Patrick Borbey July 2


A senior foreign affairs official, Vincent Rigby, will serve as Canada’s top non-elected official for the country’s Arctic Council chairmanship, Arctic Council minister Leona Aglukkaq said June 26 in a news release.

Rigby will replace Patrick Borbey, who on July 2 will depart his job as president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced June 20 that Borbey will move to the Department of Canadian Heritage, where he will serve as an associate deputy minister.

During his time as CanNor president, Borbey also served as chair of the Arctic Council’s group of senior Arctic officials, or SAOs.

That body, made of officials from the council’s eight member states, does most of the Arctic Council’s work between ministerial meetings.

This means that, like Borbey, Rigby will work closely with the other Arctic Council states, as well as the six indigenous permanent participant organizations, which include the Inuit Circumpolar Council.

Right now, Rigby serves as an assistant deputy minister responsible for strategic policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, a job he’s held since March 2013.

At the same time, Susan Harper, a career diplomat at Foreign Affairs, will continue to serve as Canada’s SAO on the Arctic Council, the news release said.

“Through the Arctic Council, Canada has been working with Northern partners to advance issues of importance to all Arctic nations. That is why I am pleased that Mr. Rigby has accepted this important role,” Aglukkaq said in the news release.

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