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. For Canada, the International Boundary Commission Act provides that the Surveyor General is Canada's Commissioner. The Canadian Commissioner reports to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on policy matters and is located within the Department of Natural Resources for administrative and operational purposes.

Kyle K. Hipsley

Commissioner for the United States

 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.


Jean Gagnon, P.Eng., CLS, NBLS

Commissioner for Canada

 Jean Gagnon, Canadian Commissioner

Jean Gagnon took office as Canada’s Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission on July 17, 2017 by virtue of being appointed Canada’s Surveyor General. As Surveyor General, he is also responsible for the Canadian Geodetic Survey and serves as Canada’s member to the Alberta – British Columbia Boundary Commission.

Mr. Gagnon brings to the Commission over 33 years of experience in dealing with legal boundary issues. Prior to his appointment as Surveyor General and Commissioner, Mr. Gagnon was a Senior Director with the Department of Natural Resources and the Deputy Surveyor General – Eastern Canada Region. His responsibilities included overseeing the operations of the Canadian Section of the International Boundary Commission.

He serves as a statutory member of the Council of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS), Vice-Chair of the federal Positioning, Navigation and Timing Board (PNTB) and Chair of the Canadian Council on Geomatics Cadastral Forum.