8 July 2010
David Johnston began his professional career as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in 1966, moving to the Law Faculty at the University of Toronto in 1968. He became Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario in 1974. In 1979 he was named Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University; and in July 1994, he returned to the McGill Faculty of Law as a full-time professor. In June 1999, he became the fifth President of the University of Waterloo.
Professor Johnston has served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees, and on the board of a number of companies, including Arise, CGI, Fairfax, and Masco currently. He was President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. He was the founding chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, chaired the federal government’s Information Highway Advisory Council and served as the first non-American chair of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University. He is the author or co-author of two dozen books, holds honorary doctorates from over a dozen universities, and has been awarded the Order of Canada (Companion).
Mr. Johnston holds an LL.B. from Queen’s University, Canada (1966), an LL.B. from Cambridge, United Kingdom (1965), and an A.B. from Harvard (1963). While at Harvard he was twice elected to the All-American Hockey Team and is a member of Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame. His academic specializations include securities regulation, corporation and information technology and law.
Mr. Johnston was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and is married to Dr. Sharon Johnston. They have five daughters.