Professor Neil Bellefontaine was Vice President (Academics) at WMU from April 2011 to December 2018. He previously held the Canadian Chair in Marine Environmental Protection from October 2006 to April 2013. He was formerly a senior executive with the Canadian Fisheries and Oceans Department with broad professional experience in maritime administration, fisheries and marine aquaculture and coastal and oceans management. His educational background is in the fields of resource economics and marine management and in 1998 he was presented with the Outstanding Public Service Award by the Prime Minister of Canada.
Until 2006 he served as the Director General (Assistant Deputy Minister Level ) for Canada's Maritime Region where he was responsible for the administration of science, oceans and habitat, small craft harbours, and fisheries and aquaculture, and including support programmes to the Canadian Coast Guard (which he directly managed from 1995 to 2004).
At WMU Vice President Bellefontaine leads the department and delivery of Academic programmes at the Malmö campus, and continues to teach in the Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management (OSGM)) and the Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration (MSEA) specializations. His research and publications have recently focused on fisheries management and enforcement, marine oil spill preparedness and response, and transboundary management issues.
Vice President Bellefontaine most recently co-edited, with WMU Professor Larry Hildebrand and Professor Aykut I. Ölcer, the conference proceedings of The International Conference on Ship Recycling held by IMO and WMU in Malmö, Sweden, April 2013.