Paul Davidson took on the role of president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada on May 11. Mr. Davidson, 45, succeeds Claire Morris, who retired after leading AUCC since March 2004.
Mr. Davidson was previously executive director of World University Service of Canada, an international development organization linked to Canadian universities and colleges.
He said he is looking forward “to meeting and working with Canada’s university leaders in my new role, to identify and pursue public policy priorities that will help universities better meet the needs of students and communities across the country.”
Tom Traves, chair of AUCC’s board of directors and president of Dalhousie University, said, “Mr. Davidson understands advocacy and has a remarkable talent to gain public and government attention to issues and causes.”
During his tenure at WUSC, Mr. Davidson increased student, faculty and administration participation in its programs, doubled the number of international students studying at Canadian campuses through WUSC, doubled revenues, and doubled the size of the organization’s acclaimed Student Refugee Program. He also led the creation of Uniterra, a volunteer program in developing countries delivered with the Montreal-based NGO Centre for International Studies and Co-operation.
Before joining WUSC in 2002, Mr. Davidson served as vice-president of Stoddart Publishing, as executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers and as vice-president of the lobbying firm S. A. Murray Consulting in Toronto. Previously, he was legislative adviser to the Leader of the Opposition and to the Treasury and Deputy Premier of Ontario.
Mr. Davidson holds a BA in politics and history from Trent University and an MA in history from Queen’s University. He is married to Elly Vandenberg and they have three sons.