Cape Breton University Appoints Chair of CSEE Advisory Board

Cape Breton University is pleased to announce Dr. A. Kevin Francis, LLD, as the inaugural Chair of its Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE) Advisory Board. Dr. Francis is a native of Sydney, N.S., with a distinguished business career, including Chairman, President and CEO of Xerox Canada. He is currently president and chief executive officer of CenterBeam, a world-renowned IT company with its head office in California, USA.

Dr. Francis is a graduate of Riverview High School in Coxheath, N.S. He earned a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. and a Bachelor of Education from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S. He completed Executive Development Programs at Queen’s University and the Senior Executive Program at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Francis received an Honorary Doctorate (D. Comm) in Commerce from St. Mary’s University (1999) and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from St. Francis Xavier University (2008).

CBU President and Vice-Chancellor, John Harker, warmly welcomes Dr. Francis to CBU. “I am very pleased that Dr. Francis has joined the CBU community. His focus on excellence and continuous improvement will be ideal in guiding the CSEE as it transforms its vision into reality.”

The CSEE was created as an integral and strategic part of CBU to inspire and facilitate commercially useful research and development, and foster related education and training opportunities in two key areas:

• Innovative energy solutions toward global energy security
• Managing the environmental legacy of Cape Breton’s industrial past

Dr. Ross McCurdy, Chief Operating Officer of CSEE, is looking forward to working with Dr. Francis to drive these interdisciplinary R&D opportunities. “These are exciting times for both the Centre and CBU. The Advisory Board is an essential component of CSEE governance, providing guidance and structure as our strategy unfolds. Dr. Francis will be key to our success in this regard.”

Dr. Francis was named Industry Leader of the Year at New Brunswick’s Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement (KIRA) gala in 2005 and was named the Best Turnaround Executive by the 2006 International Stevie Business Awards. He has an outstanding history with a number of organizations and demonstrates a long-standing commitment to sharing his time and talent. He is pleased to take on the role of CSEE Advisory Board Chair. “I still think of Cape Breton as ‘home’ and am elated to be involved in this important aspect of the University and the community,” says Dr. Francis. “I look forward to developing a synergy with the Shannon School of Business Advisory Board as we work to guide the implementation of the CSEE plan.”

Dr. Francis will begin to work with President Harker on populating the Board. The new CSEE building is set to open early this fall.