Lakehead University – Portrait Unveiled of Derek H. Burney

Chancellor Derek H. Burney - Lakehead University
Chancellor Derek H. Burney - Lakehead University

Chancellor Derek H. Burney - Lakehead University
Chancellor Derek H. Burney – Lakehead University
Thunder Bay, ON – A familiar face is now a permanent fixture of Lakehead University’s Senate Chambers.

Dr. Derek H. Burney, Lakehead’s eighth chancellor, proudly looks out from a portrait hanging next to the University’s seven previous chancellors.

Since his appointment as Chancellor in January 2013, Dr. Burney has used his influence and experience as a diplomat, entrepreneur, and strategist to further Lakehead’s academic, political, and philanthropic endeavours.

“For four years, Dr. Burney represented Lakehead as a beacon of academic excellence in his hometown of Thunder Bay, and for that the University is very grateful,” said David Tamblyn, Chair of Lakehead University’s Board of Governors.

“Chancellor Burney has been an exceptional ambassador and has played a pivotal role in raising money for Lakehead University, and for that we thank him,” Tamblyn said. “His assistance and leadership have been tremendous.”

Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson announced that the University’s Electoral Board has conferred a special title to Chancellor Burney.

“Chancellor Burney has been an invaluable asset to Lakehead University and our students and alumni, and that is why the Electoral Board has bestowed upon him the title of Chancellor Emeritus,” Dr. Stevenson said.

“His portrait now hangs with honour alongside the many great Chancellors who have helped make Lakehead the exceptional place it is today,” Dr. Stevenson added. “It is a fitting way to thank Chancellor Emeritus Burney for all that he has done, and everything he will continue to do for our university.”

The portrait was taken by Michelle Valberg from Valberg Imaging.

At 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday, March 2), Dr. Burney will give a talk called Canada in the World of Trump, describing opportunities and challenges for business, education, and trade with the U.S. under its new President, and what it means for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

The talk will be at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (207 Brodie Street S., across from City Hall). Proceeds will help raise funds for renovations to the 108-year-old sanctuary.

Tickets are $20 at the door, and available through the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium by calling 684-4444, or visiting

Bio for Derek Hudson Burney

Born in Fort William, (now Thunder Bay, Ontario), Dr. Burney continues to enjoy a noteworthy career in public service and the private sector. He married his Port Arthur sweetheart, Joan Peden, and together they have raised four boys.

He is currently Senior Strategic Advisor to Norton Rose Canada LLP. He is Chairman of GardaWorld’s International Advisory Board, a Director of TransCanada Pipelines Limited, a Governor of the Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors and a member of the Advisory Board of Paradigm Capital Inc.

Dr. Burney was President and Chief Executive Officer of CAE Inc. from October 1999 until August 2004. Prior to joining CAE, Dr. Burney was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada International Inc. (1993-1999). Dr. Burney’s assignment as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States culminated a distinguished thirty-year career in the Canadian Foreign Service, during which he completed a variety of assignments at home and abroad, including a period as a Deputy Minister of External Affairs.

From March 1987 to January 1989, Dr. Burney served as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister. He was directly involved in the negotiation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. He was the Prime Minister’s personal representative (Sherpa) in the preparations for the Houston (1990), London (1991) and Munich (1992) G-7 Economic Summits.

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