Simon Fraser University and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada will create the Jack Austin Chair in Asian Economies, thanks to the generous contributions of his friends and supporters. The new chair recognizes Austin’s exceptional contribution to Canada-Asia relations.
Holders of the chair will conduct policy-relevant economic research on Asian economies, support an outreach program offering community-based lectures with outstanding international scholars, and educate undergraduate and graduate students about the world's fastest growing region.
The Asia Pacific Foundation raised $900,000 from Jack Austin’s friends and supporters for the endowed chair and the provincial government contributed $400,000. SFU has committed to matching private donations to the endowment for which they hope to achieve $4 million in total.
Jack Austin has championed stronger relations between Canada and Asia since 1971, when as deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, he was part of the first Canadian trade mission to China. He served as president of the Canada China Business Council for seven years and co-chair of the Canada China Legislative Association for five. He was instrumental in establishing the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 1984 and in creating an endowment for the foundation in 2005. Austin was a member of the Senate of Canada for 32 years, representing British Columbia. He retired in March 2007.
Says SFU President Michael Stevenson, “Jack Austin has shown tremendous leadership over the years in support of Canada’s international trade and other foreign relations. He has stimulated us all to live by SFU’s new motto, ‘thinking of the world.’ His particular commitment to enhancing and understanding relations with China will be honoured in perpetuity through the Jack Austin Chair in Asian Economies at SFU and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.”
Foundation co-CEOs Paul Evans and Yuen Pau Woo added, “Jack Austin was not only ahead of his time in recognizing the importance of Asia for Canada, he also led numerous initiatives to strengthen Canada’s relations with Asia, including the creation of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.”
About APF Canada
The Asia Pacific Foundation is Canada’s leading independent resource on Asia and Canada-Asia relations. As a national non-profit organization established by an Act of the Federal Parliament in 1984, the Foundation brings together people and knowledge to provide the most current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Asia and on Canada’s transpacific relations. It promotes dialogue on economic, security, political and social issues, helping to influence public policy and foster informed decision-making in the Canadian public, private and non-governmental sectors. The Foundation is funded principally through an endowment from the Government of Canada and a grant from the Province of British Columbia.
Simon Fraser University, with campuses in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver, is one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities.