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Neil O'Rourke
Assistant Commissioner, Arctic Region at Canadian Coast Guard


Neil O’Rourke was appointed Assistant Commissioner, Arctic Region, Canadian Coast Guard in October 2018.

As the Assistant Commissioner for the newly-formed Arctic Region, Neil will enhance program and service delivery in the North to better meet the needs of those communities.         

He will ensure that Northerners have a greater say in the Department’s decisions and opportunities, and will honour the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. Neil will also build partnerships, co-develop priorities and support the voice of Northerners.

Neil has a decade of experience working with the Canadian Coast Guard. He previously served as Senior Director, Safe Shipping and Economic Intelligence and was responsible for the development of national strategies to sustain and transform Coast Guard’s marine navigation programs, including: Aids to Navigation, Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Waterways Management, and Icebreaking  and Ice Information Services. Neil was also the national lead for Arctic program policy, user fees, the implementation of e-Navigation in Canadian waters, and served as councillor with the International Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authority (IALA) on behalf of Canada.

Over the course of his career, Neil has worked closely with Coast Guard operations, technical services, training (Canadian Coast Guard College), other Government of Canada departments, and external stakeholders (i.e. industry, communities, national and international organizations) to identify service requirements, leverage technological and operational innovations, and competently drive decisions for cost-effective, modern and domestically/internationally aligned marine navigation services. He has also led several corporate initiatives including the consolidation of five Coast Guard regions into three, and   co-led the Departmental Comprehensive Review.

Before joining Coast Guard, Neil gained significant private sector experience as a former management consultant and executive in the energy sector; specifically, with Petro-Canada Fuels.

Neil holds degrees from two Canadian universities: a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University (2002), and a Master of Business Administration—International Business from the University of Ottawa (2003).  Originally from Aylmer, Quebec, he currently resides with his family in Yellowknife, NT.

Agenda Sessions

  • Canadian Coast Guard Arctic Overview