Dr. Elizabeth Cannon
University of Calgary
District VIII 2019 Leadership Award recipient
Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is Professor of Geomatics Engineering and President Emerita of the University of Calgary. From 2010 to 2018, she served as the university's eighth president and vice-chancellor, the first alumna to hold that position. Prior to her appointment as president, Cannon was the dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary from 2006 to 2010.
During her Presidency, the university launched a comprehensive institutional strategy called Eyes High and expanded its campus infrastructure with multiple new facilities, such as the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, W. A. Ranches at the University of Calgary, and the Life Sciences Innovation Hub - among several others. Under her leadership, the university launched the $1.3 billion fundraising campaign, Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, which encompassed the naming of the Cumming School of Medicine and the Werklund School of Education. Energize recently surpassed the $1.15 billion mark.
Cannon has led research at the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) since 1984, commercializing technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. She has served on the National Advisory Board on Earth Sciences to the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, as past president of the U.S. Institute of Navigation, and as a past director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Cannon has also served as the Chair of Universities Canada, as Co-Chair of the Business-Higher Education Roundtable, and as a member of the Board of Governors of Sidra Medicine in Qatar. Cannon is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering.
From 1997 to 2002, Cannon held the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Prairie Region. In this capacity, Cannon worked to raise public awareness about science and engineering careers for women and developed programs to encourage women to explore careers in STEM fields.
In 1998, Cannon was selected as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40®, and in 2006 was named as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Acadia University, a BSc, MSc and PhD from the University of Calgary and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Ottawa, Acadia University and the Université de Montréal, as well as an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.