Bio (Moira McDonald)

Bio Horizontal

Moira McDonald


Assistant Professor, Program Head


Tourism and Hospitality


Moira McDonald joined Royal Roads University in the winter of 2016 as the program head for the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management and the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management second year programming. With twenty years of experience in academia and the hospitality and tourism industries, her senior level hospitality experience and teaching experience provides for exciting classroom discussion, problem-based learning and discovery, relevant topic analysis and inquiry. In 2019 McDonald accepted the duties as program head with oversight for the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management (BA IHM) program.

McDonald is passionate about teaching and supporting a sense of belonging for undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests include cultural preparedness of adult educators, leadership in tourism and hospitality, women and mentorship in the workplace, niche tourism, community-based tourism, internationalization of curriculum, and adult learning theories as applied to experiences and transformational learning.


Before joining Royal Roads University in 2016, McDonald held senior-level leadership positions in the luxury brand sector of the hotel industry as director of operations in city and resort properties, and was executive director for the Global Reservations Center for Accor Hotels. Earlier, she also worked with Four Seasons Hotels, and in academia at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ottawa. McDonald has a penchant for understanding consumer behaviors and product and market innovation. Leading and developing fellow employees driven from a sales and revenue, financial, and guest-centred growth lens, enabled McDonald to lead a vast company-wide transition from the United States-based global reservation call centre to a successful Canadian-based operation in Eastern Canada.


McDonald holds a Master of Arts in Tourism Management (2015) from Royal Roads University, exploring community-based tourism using case study methodology, and was awarded the Ted Wilson Memorial Award for Lifelong Learning. She has completed three years in doctoral studies at the University of Calgary (2017-present), specializing in educational research and adult learning theory, and beginning data collection phase in her final year toward her Doctor of Education (EdD). In 2020 McDonald was nominated for the Kelly Outstanding Teaching Award.


McDonald, M.A., & Wilson-Mah, R. (2020, May 2-4) Student perspectives on the role of mentors in internship [Presentation]. Taylor Institute, University of Calgary 2020 7th Annual Conference, Mentorship in Higher Education, Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Calgary, AB, Canada. (Covid-19 Update: postponed until 2021)

McDonald, M. A. (2019, June 1-4). A changing dynamic: Cultural preparedness of adult educators. [Research Round Table presentation]. 38th CASAE Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

McDonald, M.A. (2017, May 2-3) Why a sense of belonging matters–the international student experience [Workshop]. Taylor Institute, University of Calgary 2017 5th Annual Conference, Conversations That Matter, Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Calgary, AB, Canada.

In progress:

McDonald, M.A., & MacRae, K., (2020, August 31). Niche tourism: a case of successful grizzly bear adventure tourism, collaboration with Indigenous partners, to maintain a viable bear viewing industry in British Columbia. Elgar’s Handbook of Niche Tourism, Brighton, UK.