Alan Shepard is president and vice-chancellor of Concordia University and professor of English in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science. His term as Concordia’s ninth president began on August 1, 2012.
Shepard is rethinking how universities adapt to the changing needs of society, while continuing to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in support of research and higher education. His experience in university administration in the United States and Canada has contributed to his reputation for thoughtful decisive leadership. He has held recent roles with Ontario Universities International, Public Health Ontario, and the Council of Ontario Universities.
Shepard previously served as Ryerson University’s provost and vice-president academic, where he had oversight of academic affairs, strategic planning and the budget. He led a series of transformational initiatives, including Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, bringing student-driven projects to market, and the Centre for Urban Energy, a centre for research collaboration with the public and private sectors. He has also served as associate vice-president academic at the University of Guelph, leading innovations in enrolment, international and e-learning strategies.
He has contributed to community organizations throughout his career. As an undergraduate student he worked in hospital emergency services in Minnesota. In Virginia, he was a leader in the LGBT community, and in Texas he served on the board of the Walt Whitman School and was involved in a range of public service initiatives. He joined the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in October 2012. Shepard earned an undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where he won the George Weida Spohn Prize, and a PhD from the University of Virginia. He immigrated to Canada in 2002 and is a Canadian citizen.