Dr. Elizabeth Cannon was appointed the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary on July 1, 2010.
As the leader of one of Canada’s top research universities, she is a passionate advocate for the importance of higher education in driving discovery, innovation and creativity, its power to solve the world’s greatest challenges, and its role in developing talented young people into successful leaders.
After becoming president, Dr. Cannon launched an unprecedented, comprehensive consultation process with the community on and off campus, a wide-ranging and far-reaching pursuit of a shared vision for what the university could be to the city, the country and the world. The result was Eyes High, a strategic direction with a goal to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary.
Prior to her appointment as president, Dr. Cannon was dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. Her leadership, vision and drive propelled the school into the top ranks of engineering schools, and she led the development of enriched student leadership programs, interdisciplinary research programs, and a community-endorsed five-year strategic plan. She also leveraged her extensive network of stakeholders in business, industry and the community to expand external funding for student activities.
A renowned expert in geomatics engineering, Dr. Cannon’s research has been on the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) since 1984 in both industrial and academic environments, and she has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. From 1997 she held the NSERC / Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering during which she provided leadership and encouraged young women to consider science and engineering careers.
Dr. Cannon is a Professional Engineer, was a director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and was recognized in April of 2012 with APEGA’s Centennial Leadership Award. Additionally, she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Canadian Academy of Engineering, and was inducted as a foreign associate into the National Academy of Engineering in 2011.
She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in mathematics, and has received an Honorary Doctorate, from Acadia University as well as a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctorate in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary.