Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Professor, Department of History
Daniel Robert Woolf is the 20th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is an historian and proud alumnus, who returned to his alma mater from the University of Alberta in Edmonton to begin his five-year term on September 1, 2009. He was reappointed in 2013 to a second term ending in 2019.
In addition to his role as Principal, Dr. Woolf is a professor in the Department of History. He supervises graduate students and participates on a part-time basis in undergraduate teaching. He has also continued his research activities in British history and the global history of historical writing. He has recently published two books - The Oxford History of Historical Writing, vol. 5 (in a series of which he is also general editor) and a textbook on historiography entitled A Global History of Historyfor Cambridge University Press. The latter has been translated into several languages.
Born in London, England, Dr. Woolf grew up in Winnipeg. He studied at Queen's University (BAH '80) and at Oxford University (DPhil '83). Returning to Queen's as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow in history ('84-'86), he taught first at Queen's and then at Bishop's University before joining Dalhousie University's History Department in 1987. He became a full professor in 1994, serving as Associate Dean and then Acting Dean of Graduate Studies. In 1999 he moved to McMaster University as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, and in 2002 joined the University of Alberta as Dean of Arts.
As a senior university administrator, Dr. Woolf has a proven track record in governance, financial management and employee engagement. He is extensively involved in external relations and advancement programming, including fundraising and alumni relations, as well as community outreach. A powerful advocate for each institution for which he's worked, he has led the development of many innovative campus projects and initiatives.
A specialist in early modern British cultural history and in the history of historical thought and writing, he is the author and editor of a number of scholarly articles, monographs, books and encyclopedias. In 2004, Dr. Woolf was awarded the John Ben Snow Foundation Prize for the best book by a North American scholar in any field of British Studies focusing on the period between the Middle Ages and the 18th century. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2005) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006.
Dr. Woolf is married to Julie Gordon-Woolf, formerly the Director of Planning for the Alberta Mental Health Board and a professional harpist. She is currently a student in Queen’s Master of Science in Health Quality program.
Dr. Woolf is the father of three children, one of whom recently graduated from Queen's. His personal interests include music (especially jazz) and classic movies. He is also an avid collector of rare books.