Trent University Alumnus to Lead Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada


Paul Davidson Starts Today as Executive Director of Canada’s Most Prominent Post-Secondary Education Organization

Monday, May 11, 2009, Peterborough

Today Trent University alumnus Paul Davidson will commence his new position as executive director of the leading postsecondary organization in the country, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

“I am delighted to be taking on this new challenge. Canadian universities are among the best in the world. They play an essential role in transforming Canada’s economy, improving Canadians’ quality of life and strengthening our democratic society,” said Mr. Davidson, who graduated from Trent in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Studies. He credits Trent’s distinctive learning environment for shaping his career aspirations, which have allowed him to contribute to society in meaningful ways.

“I often refer to my experiences at Trent as a time of important preparation for the rest of my life,” he said. “I value Trent’s ability to provide individual experiences in order to develop each student to his or her full potential.”

While at Trent, Mr. Davidson participated extensively in the Trent International Program (TIP) and spent a year studying abroad at the University of Zimbabwe. His involvement with TIP also included working with others to renew the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Local Committee and to support its acclaimed Student Refugee Program at Trent. Following his graduation from Trent, Mr. Davidson worked in Kenya with Canada World Youth. In 1988, he earned his Master’s degree in South African history from Queen’s University. From Queen’s he headed to Queen’s Park as a legislative intern for former MP and Trent Professor Emeritus Peter Adams, which led to many years around the legislature as staffer, government relations consultant, and provincial candidate. For five years he led the Association of Canadian Publishers and later held senior positions at Stoddart Publishing.

In 2002, Mr. Davidson returned to WUSC to become its executive director. During his time at WUSC, over 1,000 Canadians volunteered overseas; new opportunities were created for students to pursue service learning, and the 1000th sponsored refugee student arrived in Canada.

Now as the new executive director of AUCC, Mr. Davidson is shifting his focus from international education to advancing the importance of education on the domestic agenda. “We don’t need to be modest in our ambitions — we do want Canada to be a world leader in post-secondary education. Universities play a vital role in creating a prosperous and generous society,” he says. He noted that Trent University has long been a significant part of this charge for change, following President Bonnie Patterson’s role as national AUCC chair from 2005 to 2007.


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