University President

Allan Cahoon, PhD became president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads University in 2007. He is the university’s third president and, as a result of an extensive review, was re-appointed as president until June 30, 2017. In February, 2016, the Board of Governors was pleased to announce an 18-month extension to Cahoon’s second term until December 31, 2018.

Academic Background

Cahoon started his undergraduate education at the University of Calgary before transferring to the United States to complete his BA in history and political science, a MSc in international administration, and eventually completed his PhD at Syracuse University. As president, Cahoon has attended executive education programs at Harvard University and Oxford.


Cahoon taught at the University of Saskatchewan in Commerce and Political Science and in 1976 joined the University of Calgary as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Management. He subsequently was promoted to a full professor and served in various administrative positions within the faculty and university including assistant dean, as well as chair, Management of Organizations and Human Resources and president of the Faculty Association.

As a professor, he specialized in executive development, organizational theory and building best-practice, high-performing teams. He has conducted a longitudinal research project on the experience of women and men in organizations, and published on that topic as well as in areas of organizational stress and burnout and crosscultural negotiations.

In 1994, Cahoon was asked to head the new PhD program and became director of research in the Faculty of Management. While in that position, he played a leadership role in directing both the North American and the European Summer School for Advanced Management and the Canadian /Mexican and Canadian/Chilean Consortium of Schools of Administration and Business.

From 1996 to 1998, as director of the International Business Division at the University of Calgary, Cahoon was successful in developing a number of international business initiatives on behalf of the university and led, until 2001, an $8-million cross-disciplinary MSc program in energy and the environment offered at the Latin American Energy Organization’s headquarters in Quito, Ecuador.

In 2002, Cahoon moved to the University of Regina, where he held the position of vice-president, Research and International.  In 2006, Cahoon was appointed acting president and served in that role until 2007, when he moved to Royal Roads University.

At Royal Roads University, Cahoon has served on the campaign cabinet of the United Way Victoria, the advisory council of the Order of B.C., and as president of University Public Sector Employers’ Association. He is currently a member of the Research Universities Council of B.C. and Universities Canada.


Cahoon was elected vice-president (Canada) for the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education and was appointed president in 2014.  He has also been appointed as a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on International Relations for the AUCC. 

Cahoon, whose second language is Spanish, has been a visiting professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Monash Mount Eliza Management School in Australia, Yamaguchi University in Japan and the International Management Center in Budapest, Hungary. As well, Cahoon has held teaching appointments at Simon Fraser University and Syracuse University. He is adjunct professor at the Tianjin Open, Hunan University and Nankai Universities in China and emeritus professor at the University of Calgary.

Publications and Awards

Cahoon has served on the editorial boards of four journals, authored or co-authored more than 40 articles and edited or contributed chapters to numerous books on organizational development. He has presented more than 75 adjudicated conference papers throughout his academic career. He was named an outstanding academic by the Inter-American Organization of Higher Education in 1998 and is a four-time winner of the Alberta Energy Research Award.