The Commission

On June 4, 1908, the United States and the United Kingdom (on behalf of Canada) signed a treaty to create the International Boundary Commission. Both countries assigned their own expert geographer or surveyor to serve as Commissioner. Their roles were to accurately define and mark the boundary separating the two countries.

In 1925, a second treaty between the United States and Canada was entered into making the International Boundary Commission a permanent organization and empowered the two Commissioners to maintain an effective boundary line, and to determine the location of any point on the boundary line as needed. The Canadian Commissioner is guided by the International Boundary Commission Act (1960), legislation that coincides with the treaty's purpose of maintaining an effective boundary line between Canada and the United States.

The Commission comprises both an American and a Canadian Commissioner, and each is responsible for his own budget, equipment, and staff. The United States Commissioner is appointed by the President and reports directly to the Secretary of State. The Canadian Commissioner, who also serves as Surveyor General of Canada, is appointed by Order-of-Council. For administrative and operational purposes, the Canadian Section of the Commission is located within the Department of Natural Resources Canada as a section of the Surveyor General Branch.

Kyle K. Hipsley

Commissioner for the United States


In October 2014, Kyle K. Hipsley was appointed as the U.S. Commissioner for the International Boundary Commission, United States and Canada, by President Obama. Mr. Hipsley was most recently the U.S. Deputy Commissioner of the International Boundary Commission (IBC), a position he had held since 2002.

He had been the Acting U.S. Commissioner since 2009. Mr. Hipsley was previously the Lead Engineering Technician with the IBC in 2001 and 2002, and he worked as an Engineering Technician with the Commission since 1986. He has also led each of the three U.S. Section Field Offices in Maine, Minnesota, and Montana.

Prior to this work with the Commission, Mr. Hipsley was a Geodetic Surveyor for the U.S. Army, and he subsequently worked for the National Geodetic Survey, the state of Florida, and the Defense Mapping Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense.



Peter J. Sullivan

Commissioner for Canada

 Peter J. Sullivan, Canadian Commissioner

In August of 2005, Peter J. Sullivan, C.L.S., A.L.S., MBA, was appointed Commissioner of the Canadian Section of the International Boundary Commission. He also serves as Surveyor General for Canada Lands as well as Director General of the Surveyor General Branch which includes responsibility for the Canadian Geodetic Survey.

His career in geomatics began in 1977 when he joined the Northwest Survey Group in Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. In his 11-year career in the private sector, Mr. Sullivan managed multiple surveying and mapping projects throughout the north and western Canada.

Mr. Sullivan has led many initiatives during his career in the public service, including the development of geomatics programs for indigenous property rights and the modernization of cadastral systems for Canada Lands. He currently serves as a statutory member on the Council of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors and chairs the Canadian Council on Geomatics Cadastral Forum and the Federal Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Coordination Board.