About Saint Mary's

Karen Oldfield new Board Chair at Saint Mary’s University

29 June, 2016


Karen Oldfield - Board Chair

Halifax community and business leader Karen Oldfield, Q.C., ICD.D, has assumed the role of Chair for the Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors.

A proud Saint Mary’s alumna, Oldfield graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1982 and went on to obtain her law degree from Dalhousie University. She is a member of Canada’s Public Policy Forum, the National Chair of the International Women’s Forum of Canada, and is a past member of the Advisory Council on National Security.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Karen to her new position,” said Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President and Vice-Chancellor of Saint Mary’s. “We look forward to her leadership as we build on a tradition of academic and research excellence, student success, and financial responsibility.”

Oldfield was appointed to Saint Mary’s University’s Board of Governors in September 1997, assuming the role of Vice-Chair in 2012. During her time on the Board, she served on numerous committees, including the Advancement Committee, the Advisory Committee to the President on Labour Relations, the Executive Committee, and the Finance Committee.

“I am very pleased that someone with strong business acumen and experience in both local and global markets will be leading the Board,” said Paul Sobey, Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University.  “I have worked with Karen on a number of key initiatives and have always been impressed by the expertise she brings to the table.”

As President and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority, a position Oldfield has held since 2002, she has been instrumental in positioning the Port of Halifax as a strategic, national asset that annually generates over $1.6 billion in economic impact and 11,800 port-related jobs. She was also a key influencer in a new internship arrangement between the Halifax Port Authority and the Sobey School of Business.

Retiring Chair John Fitzpatrick, Q.C., has made many important contributions to the University during his more than 20 years of service on the Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors. A loyal Santamarian (BA’81), he was elected Chair of the Board of Governors in 2012.