Dr. Lesley Cormack
Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Dr. Lesley Cormack is Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC.

An historian of early modern science, Dr. Cormack specializes in geography and mathematics of late 16th and early 17th century England. She earned both her PhD and Master of Arts from the University of Toronto where she studied history and philosophy of science and technology.

Dr. Cormack holds an academic appointment as Professor of History in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UBC Okanagan. Her publications include books published by University of Chicago Press, University of Alberta Press, and University of Toronto Press. Her most recent book is A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, with Andrew Ede, 4th edition (2022).

Dr. Cormack joined UBC in July 2020 from the University of Alberta where she served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 2010 to 2020. Previously, she was Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University from 2007 to 2010 and, earlier, she taught at the University of Alberta in the Department of History and Classics for 17 years.

Dr. Cormack is a strong advocate for public education and a believer in the power of culture and the value of storytelling. One of her greatest passions is live theatre, a passion she pursued as a Director for the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for nine years.

Her volunteer service also includes serving as a current member of United Way British Columbia’s Campaign Cabinet and the City of Kelowna Community Task Force on the Performing Arts; chairing the University of Alberta United Way campaign; serving as president of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science; and work with the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science.


The Role of the Principal