Dr. Alan Shepard began his term as Western’s 11th President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2019.
Shepard arrived at Western from Concordia University in Montreal, where served as President and Vice-Chancellor and worked to position its national and international reputation as a dynamic, next generation university. There, he has had a significant record of innovation and achievement. He has been effective in championing innovation proposals such as a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) award, new graduate programs and substantial increases in Tri-Council and sponsored research funding, as well as financial aid for students.
Prior to Concordia, Shepard served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Ryerson University. There, he intensified the institution’s research and teaching capacity, while furthering investments in entrepreneurship and innovation with a particular focus on studentled initiatives. Shepard led the development of the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), a business incubator in downtown Toronto targeting early-stage technology startups.
Throughout his career, Shepard has also held leadership roles at the University of Guelph, Texas Christian University and the University of Virginia.
His current and past board service includes Universities Canada, Stratford Festival of Canada and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
American-born, Shepard was the first of his family to attend university when he enrolled in St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate, he earned a PhD in English from the University of Virginia.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University