generic speaker image
Elizabeth Cannon - University of Calgary. Calgary, AB, CA

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





loading image loading image loading image loading image




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)



Government Relations

Program Development


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


Accomplishments (16)

Honorary Doctorate (professional)

2016 University of Montreal

Distinguished Alumni Award (professional)

2014 Acadia University

Honorary Doctor of Laws (professional)

2013 University of Ottawa

Gold Medal Award (professional)

2013 Engineers Canada

Centennial Leadership Award (professional)

2012 APEGA

Elected Foreign Associate (professional)

2011 U.S. National Academy of Engineering

Honorary Doctor of Science (professional)

2010 Acadia University

Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women (professional)

2006 Women's Executive Network

Fellow (professional)

2004 Royal Society of Canada

Fellow (professional)

2004 U.S. Institute of Navigation

Wired Woman Pioneer Award (professional)

2002 Wired Woman Society

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

1997 - 2002

Johannes Kepler Award (professional)

2001 U.S. Institute of Navigation

Betty Vetter Award for Research (professional)

2001 Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network

Fellow (professional)

2000 Canadian Academy of Engineering

Canada's Top 40 Under 40 (professional)

1998 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...

view more

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.”...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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."...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more

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...

view more