Nelson Chan elected Royal Roads’ chancellor and board chair

January 14, 2020

Nelson Chan has been elected Royal Roads University’s next chancellor and chair of the Board of Governors effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Chan has served on the board as a Lieutenant Governor in Council appointee since January 2018. He succeeds Kathleen Birney, who completed her term as board chair and chancellor in December. 

Chan is the chief financial officer for the Capital Regional District, Capital Regional Hospital District and Capital Region Housing Corporation. He has extensive experience in strategic investment, business transformation and tactical implementation in the public and private sectors. His board experience includes Community Living BC, the Government Finance Officers Associations of BC and the Natural Capital Lab. 

Chan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University.  

“As we embark on an exciting time at Royal Roads, Nelson Chan’s wide-ranging experience and commitment to innovation will benefit the university,” says Royal Roads University President and Vice-Chancellor Philip Steenkamp. “I look forward to working closely with him during 2020, the university’s 25th anniversary and a pivotal year.”

Elected by the Board of Governors for a three-year term, Chan’s role will be twofold under the university’s unicameral – or single chamber – governance model. He will confer degrees and preside over convocation in the ceremonial role of chancellor, and chair the Board of Governors, which carries the responsibilities of a traditional university board and senate together.

“When my parents immigrated to Canada, they were helped along the way by many volunteers. I’ve tried to pay that forward through service in both my personal time and professional career,” says Chan. “It’s an honour to use my gained experience, knowledge and skills in this role and to serve this dynamic learning community. I sincerely thank my fellow board members for allowing me the privilege to represent them and look forward to the work we’ll do together. I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Kathleen Birney and all past governors, our talented administrators, faculty and staff for their dedication to the university.”

Chan will be installed as chancellor at the university’s convocation ceremonies in June.