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Pearson College UWC President

7 January 2020

Pearson College UWC




In 1974, Pearson College UWC was founded as Lester B. Pearson United World College (UWC) of the Pacific. 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. The College campus, located on the traditional territory of the Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation, is situated on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada along the shores of the Pacific Ocean at Pedder Bay. Pearson is one of 18 UWC schools worldwide. (

Pearson College UWC is recruiting for an outstanding President.

Reporting to: Chair of the Board
Position Summary:
The Board now seeks an outstanding President to lead the College into an important and strategically critical stage in its evolution. This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of an exceptional organization, to inspire a diverse educational community and to return Pearson to its roots as a distinctive, agenda-setting organization in an internationally competitive global education market.


Strategic Leadership

  • To develop and deliver an ambitious strategy which positions Pearson for success in the lead up to its 50th anniversary in 2024 and beyond.
  • To align this strategy firmly with Pearson’s heritage as the Lester B. Pearson College, founded as a force for international peace and global understanding.
  • 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.

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 minded and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • To partner with the Vice-President (Education and Programming) to deliver a transformational experiential education experience for students.
  • To partner with the Vice-President (Operations and Administration) and the Director of Finance to ensure effective financial and resource management.

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 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.
  • To work with the Vice-President (Education and Programming) to deliver a robust and innovative experiential education curriculum for students.

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 Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation.


The next President will be an experienced leader with the strategic and organizational skills to thrive in this multi-faceted post, holding in balance the internal and external dimensions of the role. They will bring a track record of successful change management, a strong understanding of the business dimensions of 21 st century school leadership, and the capacity to creatively evaluate different pathways to financial sustainability. Authentic and engaging, the next President will inspire and energize faculty, staff and students, building strong relationships with donors, and effectively positioning Pearson as a leading force for peace and international understanding on a global stage. Applications are welcome from within and outside of the education sector, but all candidates must have a deep resonance with Pearson’s heritage, mission and


  • A track record of successful senior leadership experience developed within or outside 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.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Outstanding strategic skills with the ability to differentiate Pearson in an internationally competitive market, positioning the College to play to its historic strengths as a leader in advancing world peace and international understanding.
  • 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.
  • 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 the College and its worldwide alumni community.
  • A belief in the transformative potential of an educational experience lived on campus, and an appreciation - not necessarily gained through direct experience - of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in a boarding school context.
  • 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.
  • Political savvy with the capacity to build strong relationships with provincial and federal governments in advancing the College’s financial sustainability.

Leadership and Personal Characteristics

  • A passionate belief in global citizenship, international understanding and the value of education as force for advancing world peace and sustainability.
  • 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.
  • A strong personal resonance with the values of Pearson and the United World College movement.

Compensation & Organization

This is a full-time position located at Pearson College UWC in Metchosin, approximately 40 minutes from downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The College offers an attractive compensation package to an outstanding and qualified applicant.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Résumés and a cover letter can be emailed to Contact number +44(0)20.7340.6231

Pearson College UWC is committed to diversity and equity in employment. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents shall be given priority.