University of Calgary

B.C.'s chief electoral officer

June 9, 2011

University of Calgary prof to head Elections BC

By Janice Lee

Dr. Keith Archer. Photo courtesy of Cybera Inc.Dr. Keith Archer. Photo courtesy of Cybera Inc.Political science professor Dr. Keith Archer has been named British Columbia’s new chief electoral officer.

“I am absolutely delighted to have received the nomination,” says Archer, whose appointment was the result of a unanimous recommendation of a bipartisan legislative committee in B.C. “With that kind of support to start with, it is very encouraging to take on new challenges of what is really quite a demanding role.”

As the head of Elections BC, Archer will be responsible for the fair, impartial and efficient administration of provincial elections, by-elections, recall campaigns and other electoral events. He will lead a team of 45 full-time election professionals—a team that can swell to over 13,000 employees on the day of an election.

“The area of election administration is something I have been concentrating on increasingly both in my teaching and research at the University of Calgary,” says Archer. “For me it seemed like a natural fit to move into this kind of work given the way in which my teaching and research interest shifted over the years.”

In addition to his professorship, a position he has held since 1984, Archer is director of research at the Banff Centre. He has served in a number of senior administrative positions at the university, including associate dean (research) in social sciences, associate vice-president (research) and interim vice-president (research).

Archer received a PhD from Duke University and completed BA and MA degrees in political science at the University of Windsor. He has served on many boards, commissions, and agencies, such as the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books and over 30 articles and chapters in the area of elections and voting.

Archer will relocate to Victoria, BC for his term as chief electoral officer, which lasts through two provincial general elections plus one year. He will begin in his new role Sept. 1, 2011.