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30 June 2022

UWC Pearson College



We are privileged to learn, work, and live on the traditional territory of the Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation.

Pearson College UWC was founded as Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and United World College (Canada) Inc. in 1974. Pearson is a unique, highly selective, two-year pre-university school for up to 200 students from across Canada and around the world chosen solely on their promise and potential and demonstrated commitment to actively engage in creating a better world. Students currently are selected from nearly 160 countries. Pearson is one of 18 UWC schools worldwide. (

Pearson College UWC is recruiting for an outstanding President and Head of College

Reporting to: Chair of the Board

Position Summary:

The next President and Head of College will join Pearson at an exciting and strategically critical stage in its development. With its innovative heritage, beautiful campus, deliberately diverse student body, strong values and distinctive mission, Pearson has many intrinsic strengths.

The College is on a journey of renewal and the identification of strategic priorities in climate action and sustainability, community wellbeing and the integration of Indigenous approaches give Pearson an exciting and unique platform on which to build. The next President and Head of College will develop further the extraordinary work already underway in each of these priority areas, defining a future in which Pearson thrives as a truly innovative and agenda-setting organization.  

The College was founded as a centre for peace and international understanding. The vision of Lester B. Pearson has never been more relevant and, in this context, opportunities for the College to lead and contribute on a local, national, and international stage are hugely exciting.

Key Responsibilities

This is a complex, multi-faceted leadership role. The President and Head of College leads all aspects of Pearson including academic life, the co-curricular program, student, faculty and staff wellbeing and residential life. There is also a strong ambassadorial component as the President is responsible for working with alumni, donors, partners and governments to raise funds, friends and profile for the College. The successful candidate will hold the internal and external dimensions of the post in balance, working strategically and with a strong sense of team to ensure Pearson achieves its full potential. More specifically, the key responsibilities of the President are: 

Strategic Leadership 

  • To deliver and evolve the 2022-2027 strategy to position Pearson for success in the lead up to its 50th anniversary in 2024 and beyond.
  • To work in partnership with the Board and the community to differentiate Pearson in an increasingly crowded international education market, re-establishing the College’s historic position as an educational pioneer.
  • To be fully committed to the existing strategic priorities in climate action and sustainability, community wellbeing, and indigenous reconciliation. 
Educational Innovation
  • To be imaginative about the future of education, nurturing Pearson’s culture of innovation to ensure the College continually delivers a transformative, future-focused education.
  • To work with the Vice-President (Education) to develop the College’s commitment to place-based education, sustainability and climate action as identified in the current strategic plan. 
People and Organizational Management
  • To empower, support and challenge the College Leadership Team, delegating effectively to create a consistent, distributed leadership structure. 
  • To attract, retain and develop high caliber faculty and staff with a singular commitment to providing an outstanding educational experience for the students. 
  • To champion a culture which is inclusive, ambitious and ensures that the needs of the students are at the heart of all decision-making. 
Entrepreneurial Vision and Financial Management
  • To think creatively about future pathways and opportunities to ensure the College’s long-term financial sustainability.
  • To work with the Board to investigate and evaluate these opportunities, approaching this strategically critical work with an open mind and an entrepreneurial spirit. 
  • To partner with the Vice-President (Operations) and the Director of Finance to ensure effective financial and resource management. 
External Engagement and Fundraising
  • To operate as a compelling ambassador for Pearson on a local, provincial, national and international stage. 
  • To build the profile of Pearson across Canada, positioning the College as a strong and respected community member in Victoria, British Columbia, and the wider country.
  • To establish Pearson as a leader in reconciliation in Victoria, further strengthening the meaningful and inclusive relationship with the Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation.
  • To further develop the existing culture of philanthropy and to engage strategically and persuasively with both current and potential donors.


The next President and Head of College will be a leader of exceptional caliber. They will bring most or all of the following experience, skills, knowledge, leadership, and personal characteristics.


  • A track record of successful senior leadership experience developed within the field of education. 
  • Proven experience of leading, developing and empowering high performing teams, with a strong grasp of effective delegation.
  • Experience of successfully managing cultural and organizational change.
  • To establish Pearson as a leader in reconciliation in Victoria, further strengthening the meaningful and inclusive relationship with the Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation.
  • To further develop the existing culture of philanthropy and to engage strategically and persuasively with both current and potential donors.
Knowledge and Skills 
  • A passionate IB educator able to demonstrate an authentic alignment with the mission and values of Pearson College and the broader UWC movement.
  • Outstanding strategic skills with the ability to continue to differentiate Pearson in an internationally competitive market, positioning the College as a global leader in climate action and sustainability.
  • An inspiring communicator able to translate passion into action through meaningful engagement with alumni, partners and a wide range of other stakeholders.
  • A belief in the transformative potential of a residential educational experience, and an appreciation - not necessarily gained through direct experience - of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in a boarding context.
  • The relationship building skills to flourish in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment, building partnerships with a variety of individuals and organizations to the benefit of Pearson.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, with the capacity to think creatively about the development of Pearson in a way that ensures financial sustainability. 
  • Strong time management skills with a clear grasp of how to invest time strategically and hold in balance the internal and external dimensions of this multi-faceted leadership role.
  • An understanding of the importance of fundraising in successful 21st century school leadership, and a willingness to use time strategically to build philanthropic capital for Pearson. 
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, with the capacity to think creatively about the development of Pearson in a way that ensures financial sustainability. 
  • Political ‘nous’ with the capacity to build strong relationships with the provincial and federal governments in advancing Pearson’s financial sustainability.
Leadership and Personal Characteristics 
  • A highly visible leadership style with a commitment to fully embrace life in a residential setting.
  • The courage, judgement and wisdom to take important and often challenging decisions where these are demonstrably in the interests of the students and the College. 
  • High levels of emotional intelligence, authenticity, humility and resilience.


The President and Head of College plays a critical role in the life of Pearson. He or she is required to live on campus in the President’s residence and be an active member of the College community. 

Compensation & Organization

Salary: $250,000 - $350,000


A global executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver in parallel with the public advertisement of the post. Perrett Laver will support the Search Committee in the discharge of its duties both assisting in the assessment of candidates against the requirements of the role and identifying a wide field of candidates.

Applications should consist of a full CV and covering letter addressing the criteria set out in the role description and person specification. Completed applications should be uploaded at quoting reference 5976.

The closing date for applications is 08:30 PDT on Thursday 18 August 2022. 

The longlist of candidates will be determined in the week commencing 22 August 2022 and longlisted candidates will be invited for interview with Perrett Laver during the weeks commencing 29 August and 5 and 12 September 2022. 

The shortlist will be determined later in the week commencing 12 September 2022 and those shortlisted will be invited to first round interviews with the Search Committee on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 September 2022. Successful candidates will then be invited to visit the College and have a final set of interviews on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 October 2022. 

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As an inherent part of our United World College values, Pearson College UWC is actively committed to Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. In pursuit of our values, we seek individuals who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of privilege and power. We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity.