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Elizabeth Cannon - University of Calgary. Calgary, AB, CA

Elizabeth Cannon Elizabeth Cannon

President and Vice-Chancellor | University of Calgary

Calgary, AB, CANADA

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary





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Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary.

Prior to her appointment as president, Dr. Cannon was dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, propelling it into the top ranks of Canadian engineering schools.

Since her installation in July 2010, Dr. Cannon has committed the University of Calgary to the goal of becoming one of Canada’s top research schools.

Her tenure to date has been filled with many milestones for the University of Calgary, including recognition as the number one young university in Canada and North America and the sixth ranked research university in the country, the largest private donation to the Cumming School of Medicine, the largest public donation to the Werklund School of Education, and a pioneering support system for student wellness.

Dr. Cannon is a Professional Engineer, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Canada Research Knowledge Network and the Chair of Universities Canada. She is also a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.

An expert in geomatics engineering, Dr. Cannon has led research at the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in both industrial and academic environments. She has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. Dr. Cannon’s work has been recognized with many accolades, including the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, APEGA’s Centennial Leadership Award and the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada in 2013.

Throughout her career, Dr. Cannon has championed women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). From 1997 to 2002, she held the NSERC / Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. In this capacity, she worked to raise public awareness about science and engineering careers for women, developing several innovative programs to encourage women to explore careers in STEM fields.

Dr. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in mathematics from Acadia University as well as a BSc, MSc and PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary. She has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Ottawa, University of Montreal and Acadia University.

Industry Expertise (5)

Education/Learning Fund-Raising Government Relations Program Development Research

Areas of Expertise (20)

Higher Education Leadership Geomatics Engineering Board Leadership Community Relations Executive Leadership Government Relations Higher Education Administration Technological Innovation Institutional Strategic Development and Leadership International Partnership Development Institutional Sustainability Strategy Post-Secondary Education Post-Secondary Program Development Post-Secondary Institutional Leadership Research and Development Systems Development for Positioning and Navigation Global Positioning Systems (Gps) Careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Science and Technology Teaching

Accomplishments (16)

Honorary Doctorate (professional)


University of Montreal

Distinguished Alumni Award (professional)


Acadia University

Honorary Doctor of Laws (professional)


University of Ottawa

Gold Medal Award (professional)


Engineers Canada

Centennial Leadership Award (professional)



Elected Foreign Associate (professional)


U.S. National Academy of Engineering

Honorary Doctor of Science (professional)


Acadia University

Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women (professional)


Women's Executive Network

Fellow (professional)


Royal Society of Canada

Fellow (professional)


U.S. Institute of Navigation

Wired Woman Pioneer Award (professional)


Wired Woman Society

NSERC / Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (professional)

1997 - 2002

Johannes Kepler Award (professional)


U.S. Institute of Navigation

Betty Vetter Award for Research (professional)


Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network

Fellow (professional)


Canadian Academy of Engineering

Canada's Top 40 Under 40 (professional)


The Globe and Mail

Education (4)

University of Calgary: PhD, Geomatics Engineering 1991

University of Calgary: MSc, Geomatics Engineering 1987

University of Calgary: BSc, Geomatics Engineering 1984

Acadia University: BSc, Mathematics 1982

Affiliations (6)

  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Fellow of the U.S. Institute of Navigation
  • Fellow of Engineers Canada
  • Fellow of Geosciences Canada (Hon)
  • Professional Engineer (Alberta)

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (13)

President Cannon receives honorary degree from University of Montreal

UToday  online


This week, President Elizabeth Cannon has been conferring degrees on the class of 2016 — the University of Calgary’s newest graduates — but last Friday she was the one on stage receiving a degree...

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University of Calgary provides shelter for Fort Mac evacuees

UToday  online


“I am so proud of how our university community has come together during this critical time of need,” said President Elizabeth Cannon. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the disastrous fires in northern Alberta, and with the firefighters and other first responders working tirelessly to contain it. Please know the entire University of Calgary community is behind you, and we will continue to work hard to support you in any way we can.”...

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U of C looks forward to the next 50 years

Calgary Herald  online


We began a year’s worth of celebrations around the University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary on Friday. We will be honouring our past, while priming ourselves for the future, but really, we’ll be celebrating you...

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University of Calgary to celebrate 50th anniversary at alumni event

Calgary Herald  online


As a teenager in the 1970s, Robert Thirsk often tagged along with his older brother, an engineering student, to the contemporary, exhilarating, just-blossoming University of Calgary campus...

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University of Calgary kicks off year of 50th anniversary celebrations

UToday  online


The University of Calgary officially marks its 50th Anniversary today, launching a year-long celebration to honour the legacies of the past while engaging the community in a rich discussion about the future...

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President Elizabeth Cannon thanks the Calgary community for unwavering support

UToday  online


When we begin a year’s worth of celebrations around the University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary on Friday, we will be honouring our past while priming ourselves for the future. But really, we’ll be celebrating you...

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Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning opens at U of C to much fanfare

660 News  online


University of Calgary officials are promising it will change the field of education with a new facility where students can investigate new avenues of learning...

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Great cities need great universities

UToday  online


Universities need more, not less, engagement with business and community. This was the message delivered by University of Calgary President and Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon to community and business leaders in a speech hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday...

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President Elizabeth Cannon applauds government's commitment to post-secondary education

Market Wired  online


"We would like to thank the government for moving quickly to provide additional funding to the post-secondary system. This support is critical to meeting the growing demand from new students and those looking to upgrade their skills during the economic downturn," said President Elizabeth Cannon. "We look forward to working with the Minister of Advanced Education to develop a strong and sustainable future for funding and tuition. All Campus Alberta institutions are working together to enhance efficiencies and provide a full range of world leading education options for Albertans."...

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A Wise investment in the infrastructure of Canadians' minds

Calgary Herald  online


Canada’s view of infrastructure is changing. The federal budget made it clear that infrastructure means more than wastewater, highways and bridges. As vital as these things are, Canada also needs infrastructure that supports the mind — technology-enhanced learning environments, sustainable campuses and the modern research facilities that nurture curiosity and discovery...

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Fortney: U of C to celebrate 50-year milestone

Calgary Herald  online


In 1982, Calgary had fewer than 600,000 citizens, its tallest structure was the 191-metre-high Calgary Tower and its mayor...

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Elizabeth Cannon named new chair of Universities Canada

UToday  online


University of Calgary President and Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon recently began a two-year term as chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors effective Oct. 28, 2015...

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Elizabeth Cannon: Trudeau's Appearance At Reception 'A Huge Signal' For Universities Canada

The Huffington Post  online


Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary, says she was "thrilled" by Trudeau's unannounced, short visit and address Tuesday night at a reception near Parliament Hill hosted by Canada's university umbrella organization, formerly known as the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada...

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