About Us

The genesis for a collaborative marine research institution was sparked at a Global Ocean Forum in Halifax in March 2009. Following two years of consultation with our founding partners, The Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI) was formed, with a formal launch held in June 2011 as part of Dalhousie Oceans Week.  Since its inception, HMRI has undergone a name change to better define itself as a vehicle for creating sustainable economic activity from ocean research in Atlantic Canada. In January 2014, HMRI changed its name to the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE).

Atlantic Canada hosts several federal research laboratories, multiple universities and a growing private sector focused on oceans. IORE is building partnerships among these groups to both boost marine research and translate it into real economic opportunity. IORE is the core outreach vehicle for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology.

Jim Hanlon

Chief Executive Officer

Jim is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) and the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE), a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. COVE’s programs and operations are managed by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), of which Jim has been CEO since 2012. IORE is a Canadian Not-for-Profit corporation that partners industry, academia, and government agencies to inspire and facilitate world-class scientific research, and to apply and commercialize its results.

Jim is a 30-year veteran of the Canadian tech industry, having worked in design, marketing and management for companies in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and New England. His career has spanned the aerospace and defence sectors as well as the marine environmental monitoring field. Over the years, Jim has worked in senior management positions with several large publicly traded multinationals. He has also sampled the waters of the entrepreneurial well as an owner in two separate high-tech companies which were eventually acquired by international firms.

His personal passion is innovation and its impact on the competitiveness of Canadian industry. Jim is a proud alumnus of the Nova Scotia Technical College (now Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering) with a degree in electrical engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in Nova Scotia, and holds MBA in marketing from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Board of Directors

Below you will find biographies for all seventeen members of the IORE Board of Directors.

Alice Aiken

Vice President, Research, Dalhousie University

Dr. Alice Aiken is the Vice President – Research at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie. She is a co-founder and the former Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, a unique consortium of over 41 Canadian and 7 international universities dedicated to researching the health needs of military personnel, Veterans and their families. She does health services / health policy research and has a unique focus on Veterans and their families in her work.

She received her PhD and Master’s from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada; her Physical Therapy degree from Dalhousie University and a BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Ottawa. She also proudly served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 14 years, first as a ship’s navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy, then as a physiotherapist.

She is currently the Honorary Commander of 33 Health Services for the Royal Canadian Medical Group. For her commitment to the health and well-being of military personnel, Veterans, and their families, she has received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion (USA), and most recently she was made a Dame of the Order of St. George. She is elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Don Bureaux

President, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)

Don Bureaux has been president of Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) since 2011. Don’s commitment to adult education spans over two decades working with adult learners at colleges and universities as well as professional designation granting organizations across Canada and internationally. At NSCC, he works to bring the college’s vision – transforming Nova Scotia one learner at a time – to life. 

Before becoming president of NSCC, Don served as vice-president, academic and vice president, people and planning at the college, and has served in many academic leadership roles throughout his career. His work has allowed him to collaborate with educational leaders across North America, Europe and Asia in creating entrepreneurial learning environments that are connecting to communities and industries. 

Don holds a certificate in Adult Education and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. Don is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant and holds an international designation as a Certified Business Counsellor through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He’s been granted his Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) designation by CPA Canada and his Fellow Certified General Accountant (FCGA) designation by CGA Canada. 

In 2015 and 2016, Don was named one of the top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine and serves on the boards of many not-for-profit organizations in Nova Scotia.

Stephen Carmel

Senior Vice President of Maritime Services, Maersk Line Limited 

Mr. Stephen M. Carmel serves as the Senior Vice President of Maritime Services at Maersk Line Limited. In addition to assuming management oversight for programs within business units, Mr. Carmel continues to lead the technical organization and quality environment safety and security department. Mr. Carmel is domiciled at MLL’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia as Senior Vice President, Technical Organization.  

Previously, he has held various positions in operations and finance for U.S. Marine Management, Inc. and Maersk Line, Limited. Mr. Carmel began his career sailing as a deck officer and Master primarily on tankers for Maritime Overseas Corporation and Military Sealift Command. His first command was a 40-ton clean product tanker. Mr. Carmel graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1979. He also holds an M.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. in International Finance from Old Dominion University and is a Certified Management Accountant and is Certified in Financial Management. 

Tony Chedrawy

President and Chief Executive Officer, MetOcean Telematics 

Tony Chedrawy is the President & CEO of MetOcean Telematics, a Dartmouth Nova Scotia based company that develops and manufactures state-of-the-art data acquisition and end-to-end telematics solutions.   

Tony worked internationally for many years in the IT and Energy sectors, he returned to Canada in 2001 and joined MetOcean Data Systems, and was appointed to the role of President & CEO in 2006.  Tony spearheaded a management buyout of MetOcean Data Systems in 2008, and later that year founded JouBeh Technologies. After serving as President & CEO for both organizations for 8 years, he lead and oversaw their merger to create MetOcean Telematics.  

Tony is a multifaceted, highly motivated and performance driven professional, who has achieved significant year-after-year revenue, profit and business growth objectives. Tony is currently enrolled in Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program (OPM) and will graduate in 2019.  He holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with honours from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., Industrial) from Dalhousie University, and is a registered professional engineer in Nova Scotia. 

Tony lives in Dartmouth with his wife and three young children.  When not working, he is actively involved in supporting their wide range of hobbies and activities. 

Martha Crago

Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation, McGill University 

Martha Crago started as the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) at McGill University this July.  

Prof. Crago was previously the Vice-President Research and Professor in Human Communication Disorders at Dalhousie University. Her previous university administrative positions include Vice-President of International and Governmental Relations at the Université de Montreal as well as the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Associate Provost (Academic Programs), both at McGill University.  

Martha Crago is the Chair of the Research Committee of the U15 group of Canada’s research intense universities. Previously she was President of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, a member of the American Association of Universities Deans of Graduate Studies’ group, the Universitas 21’s Research Directors and Graduate Studies Group and the Board of the US Council of Graduate Schools. She was the founder of the Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities and the co- founder of the International Forum for Public Universities, a consortium of 21 non-English language world-class universities. She has served as a member of the University Advisory Group of Industry Canada.  She was asked by the Premier of Nova Scotia in 2014 to serve on the One Nova Scotia Coalition whose purpose was to propose an economic action plan for the province. ‎ In 2016, she was selected by the Minister of Science of Canada to be a member of an Advisory Panel on the Funding of Fundamental Research and as an External Expert for the National Research Council Dialogue.  

Prof. Crago was founder and Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprises. She was also the Canadian academic member of the federal government’s Joint Canada-Brazil Committee and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Network of Centres of Excellence in Marine Environment Observation Prediction Response (MEOPAR). Prof. Crago has also been a member of the Boards of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), the Canadian Light Source (CLS), and Ocean Network Canada (ONC), and she is a member of the Research Partnership Committee of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). In addition, she has been on the Advisory Committee of the National Research Council – Institute of Marine Biosciences.  

Prof. Crago has been an active researcher in language acquisition across a variety of languages and learners, including monolingual and bilingual Indigenous children learning Inuktitut, Cree, Mohawk, Algonquin, as well as children learning English, French and Arabic. Her work has been published extensively in scientific journals and books, and she is the Editor of Applied Psycholinguistics published by Cambridge University Press. She was Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language from 2007 to 2010.  

Prof. Crago was named Femme de Mérite de Montréal in 2000, Chevalier de l’Ordre des palmes academiques by the French government in 2009, and Woman of Excellence in Nova Scotia in 2015. She is also the recipient of a McGill University Prize for her contributions to research.

Sandra Greer

Board Director, Nova Scotia Power 

Sandra Greer serves on the Board of Directors of Nova Scotia Power, Amirix Systems Inc, NSBI and is on the Board of Governors of Acadia University. She was the President and CEO of Amirix Systems Inc. from March 2002 to November 2012. While at Amirix, Ms. Greer lead the transformation of the organization from an R&D services company to a product one through the acquisition of Vemco, a world leader in the design and manufacture of bio-logging products for aquatic animal tracking.   The successful merger of the two companies lead to improved product lines and significant growth.  Before Amirix Sandra’s career was predominantly in telecommunications. 

Ms. Greer also served as a Member of the Industrial Expansion Fund (IEF) Advisory Panel in Nova Scotia, sat on the Members Board of the Canada Foundation for Innovation and was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in 2004, where she served as Chair from 2008 to 2010.  

A graduate of Acadia University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Ms. Greer also completed a Queens™s University School of Business Executive Development program and is a Quantum Shift Fellow of the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. She obtained her ICD.D designation in 2015, graduating from the Directors Education Program offered by the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. 

James King – Chair

President, CFN Consultants (Atlantic) Inc.

Vice Admiral Jim King became an independent consultant after a 38-year career in the Canadian Forces, the last four years of which saw him as Canada’s Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels.

After an extensive career at sea, including command of the destroyer, HMCS HURON, and the Fifth Canadian Destroyer Squadron, he served in senior staff positions in Canadian Headquarters in Halifax and Ottawa and at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

He represented Canada on the Canada-US Permanent Joint Board of Defence, and has acted as a senior military advisor to three Chiefs of the Defence Staff and four Ministers of National Defence on key issues involving NATO, the UN, Peacekeeping, NORAD, Ballistic Missile Defence and Canada-US security relations.

Admiral King is the President of CFN Consultants (Atlantic) Inc. specializing in assisting companies with Canadian Government procurement opportunities, Industrial Technical Benefits (ITB), and global supply chain participation.

Admiral King is President of the Athenaeum Society of Nova Scotia, and a consultant to the NATO project, Building Integrity, on international anti-corruption policy and procedures.

He is a graduate of McGill University with a degree in International Relations and a graduate member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.

Admiral King is an avid outdoorsman, sailor and motorcyclist; he and his wife, Barbara, share interests in travel, reading and film. Their son, David, lives in Vancouver.

Lucia MacIsaac

President and Chief Executive Officer, LearnCorp International 

Lucia MacIsaac is a professional engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the energy and education sectors. Joining Shell Canada in 1982, Lucia worked as a specialist engineer in Materials, Corrosion and Pressure Equipment before joining the Operations Engineering group. This experience, along with a MASc in Metallurgical Engineering, prepared her for a career in technical education and training with Cape Breton University and LearnCorp International. Lucia has been involved in all aspects of training including: curriculum development, program delivery; site assessments; budgetary control; quality and safety; program management and business development. Lucia has a strong commitment to safety and in her role as President and CEO of LearnCorp International ensures that quality, safety and protection of the environment is a core value for the company.

Janet MacMillan

Partner Emeritus; SENIOR COUNSEL, NATIONAL Public Relations 

Janet has devoted much of her professional and board governance career to guiding and supporting successful organizations in their growth trajectories and breakthrough moments.  Janet currently serves as lead strategic counsel to a number of NATIONAL’s clients and teams and specializes in such areas as risk, reputation and crisis management, citizen engagement, governance and regulatory matters.  She guides clients in such sectors as renewable energy, oil and gas, mining and other resources, and infrastructure development.  Janet is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD); is certified by the U.S.-based Institute for Crisis Management and the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).  In addition to her commitment to the board of COVE, she is board chair of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE)Vice Chair, and Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) and is a national board member of both the RCMP Foundation of Canada and Sail Canada. She is past chair of the board of Mount Saint Vincent University, the institution from which she proudly received her degree in public relations 

John Newton

Liaison Officer, Canadian Forces

Rear-Admiral John Newton became Liaison Officer of Veterans Affairs Canada in September 2017. Prior to that, he was Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic in July 2013.  Rear-Admiral Newton began his career in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983, after an early occupation as a geologist. He enrolled as a Maritime Surface Officer, after an increased desire for challenge and adventure that he was certain he could find in a career that stretches itself through the shifting tides of the world’s active oceans.

In his early years as a junior naval officer, he acquired specialist skills in navigation, communications and operations, and completed tours in the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, the replenishment ship HMCS Preserver, and the frigate HMCS Montreal. Over the years, he has developed a specialty in Canadian maritime sovereignty, gained through countless fishery patrols and three Arctic sovereignty missions.

While every progression in his career has been enjoyable, one of Rear-Admiral Newton’s fondest memories is when he experienced his life-long dream to patrol the fabled Northwest Passage while he was Commanding Officer of HMCS Fredericton from 2003 until 2006.  In 2000, he completed a year of Joint military studies at the Command and Staff College Toronto, followed by advanced military studies in 2004.

Rear-Admiral Newton has served his country on different fronts. He has deployed on NATO missions of the Cold War, and UN peace support operations, including the Gulf War in 1991, Haiti in 1993, and the maritime embargo of the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Of note, in 2006, he served at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as Director of International Plans in the Strategic Joint Staff, helping to progress files such as the commitment of the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Sudan, amongst others.

Beyond professional duties, Rear-Admiral Newton focuses strongly on his devoted family. He strives to maintain a balanced work-home life, despite the rapid waves of naval responsibilities that consume his time as Commander and require his steady leadership.

Robert Orr

Chief Executive Officer, Cuna del Mar 

Robert operates a Halifax based consulting company. Primary activities within that company include serving as the Managing Director of a Cuna del Mar LP; a USA based impact and private equity fund.  Cuna del Mar is concerned with global food security, healthy oceans and investing in transformational technologies capable of bringing about a paradigm shift in traditional aquaculture practices, with a particular focus on Open Ocean Technologies and the development of new species for warm water aquaculture.  

Orr’s executive management career spans over 35 years in the private equity, marine biotechnology, nutritional ingredient, and food retailing industries. In addition to his current responsibilities of investing in; and, mentoring new technology and aquaculture companies, he has extensive experience in the creation of startup companies, managing fast growing companies with customers in over 40 countries, and managing large multi-national corporate operations.  

Orr also serves on the boards of several early stage companies; is the Chair of the Board, of the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia; Chair of the Board, Natural Products Canada, Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research; and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Dalhousie University, School of Management; and Cape Breton University, Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. 

Anthony Patterson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Marine

Capt. Anthony Patterson is the President and CEO of Virtual Marine, a maritime simulation company headquartered in St. John’s. Virtual Marine has customers in over 11 countries and is a key supplier in the offshore oil & gas and defence industries. While at Virtual Marine, Capt. Patterson has pioneered the use of autonomous simulation and the company is the first in the world to receive certification for autonomous simulators placed at the worksite. Prior to joining Virtual Marine, Anthony was an officer in the Canadian Coast Guard and the Director of the Centre for Marine Simulation at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. An innovator at heart, Capt. Patterson spearheaded the introduction of computerized search planning for Maritime Search and Rescue and launched the harsh environment simulation program at Memorial University.

R. Michael Roberts

Chief Human Resources Officer, Emera, Inc. 

Mike Roberts was appointed Chief Human Resource Officer at Emera Inc. in 2014 and provides executive leadership for Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Health & Wellness, Performance Management and Rewards. 

Prior to joining Emera, Mike was the President of the integrated talent development firm Optimum Talent Atlantic. Mike also served as Vice President, Corporate Development for Irving Shipbuilding where he was responsible for communications, human resources, labour relations, health, safety and security. Mike had led the organization’s cultural shift to ready itself to successfully become one of Canada’s Shipbuilding Centres of Excellence and was a founding partner in the ShipsStartHere partnership. 

Earlier in his career, Mike held senior positions with telecommunications leader Bell Aliant, including Vice President, Human Resources and Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs.   

He is a graduate of Mount Allison University and obtained his CPA designation in 1991. 

Mike is active in the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Waterfront Development Corporation, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), and a past Director with the Marine Environmental Ocean Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR).    He has also served on the board of the Nova Scotia Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

Sarah Simpson

Manager, Value Propositions and Community Relations, Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Sarah has lived and worked around the ocean in many countries and roles over the years. She is currently the Manager of Value Proposition and Community Relations at Irving Shipbuilding. Sarah’s responsibilities include overseeing the investments in workforce development, technology, and commercialization, made by Irving Shipbuilding to strengthen Canada’s marine industry through the National Shipbuilding Strategy.  

Prior to joining Irving Shipbuilding, Sarah was a consultant with NATIONAL Public Relations. She worked with clients in a variety of sectors including energy, government, agriculture, and academia.  

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Sarah has also lived and worked in Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa before landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She enjoys volunteering for many community organizations including Springtide, the United Way, and the Lunenburg Yacht Club. Sarah is a proud alumnus of the University of Prince Edward Island, and the Nova Scotia Community College where she earned a B.Sc in Psychology and an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations, respectively.

Ian Thompson

Executive-in-Residence, Cox & Palmer

Ian is Executive-in-Residence at the Halifax office of the regional law firm Cox & Palmer. He’s former associate publisher at The Chronicle Herald, a former deputy minister of economic development in Nova Scotia, former senior representative in Ottawa for Nova Scotia, former owner of MT&L Public Affairs and he worked for two major energy utilities. He’s an accredited graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and he’s an honourary degree recipient from Dalhousie University. He has served on the boards of multiple not-for-profit organizations and business development agencies and currently sits on the boards of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Genome Atlantic and Tourism Nova Scotia. He is national chair of a $15 million campaign for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. 

Wendy Watson-Wright

Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), Dalhousie University 

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI). Headquartered at Dalhousie University, the OFI is a transnational interdisciplinary research institute whose aim is the safe and sustainable development of the ocean frontier, with a focus on the northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway. From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Watson-Wright led the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in Paris as its Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General.  She spent most of her career in Fisheries and Oceans Canada including in such positions as Research Scientist in Halifax, Director of the DFO St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick, Assistant Deputy Minister of Science in Ottawa, and Regional Director General of DFO’s Gulf Region in Moncton. 

 Wendy has been on such boards as the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Ocean Science, the Strategic Advisory Board for the European Union’s Joint Programming Initiative on Oceans, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X-Prize. A Killam scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dalhousie University. 

Paul Yeatman

President, GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc., President, Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS) 

Paul Yeatman has worked in the Ocean Tech and Marine Defence sectors for over 27 years. He specialized in hydro-acoustics starting in 1992 and has been working on sonar and other hydro-acoustic systems ever since. In 2006 Paul joined GeoSpectrum as a partner, and has been President of the company for the last 8 years or so. 

In 2012 Paul was asked to head up the Ocean’s Technology Council, which was officially Inaugurated in Feb 2014. Paul continues to serve as the OTCNS Chairman and a board member for ACADA.