New Dean of International Education Joins Leadership Team at VIU

Philip Oxhorn, VIU Dean of International Education

Dr. Philip Oxhorn is VIU’s new Dean of International Education. Photo credit: Below image from

February 26, 2019 - 3:45pm

Dr. Philip Oxhorn to take on key academic role with the University


An internationally respected expert in Latin American affairs is joining Vancouver Island University (VIU) as the new Dean of the Faculty of International Education.

Dr. Philip Oxhorn brings almost 30 years’ experience in post-secondary education to this role, along with a strong research background in the comparative study of civil society and its role in supporting democratic regimes, with a focus on Latin America.

“Since my undergraduate days many years ago, I have sought to understand democracy from the simple perspective that it matters who participates politically, and who does not,” he says.

Philip Oxhorn, VIU Dean of International EducationWith experience as a scholar, expert and academic leader, Oxhorn was most recently the Associate Provost (International) at McGill University, where he was responsible for developing and implementing an international education strategy. Knowledge gained from this background will prove invaluable to his work at VIU.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Oxhorn and his family to our VIU community,” says VIU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ralph Nilson. “His lifelong dedication to international engagement and social innovation will continue to build on the strengths of the international learning opportunities at VIU. His leadership and strong network will foster productive opportunities and partnerships that will benefit students, employees and the communities we serve.”

In addition to his role as Associate Provost at McGill, Oxhorn was also a political science professor. He is currently a senior research fellow for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and was editor-in-chief of the Latin American Research Review, a leading multidisciplinary journal in Latin American studies.

Oxhorn is a regular contributor to academic journals and texts and is often called on by national and international media outlets to comment on Latin American affairs. He is a celebrated author, with his most recent publication being, “Sustaining Civil Society: Economic change, Democracy and the Social Construction of Citizenship in Latin America” (2011). As a result of his writing and ongoing research work, Oxhorn is a recognized expert on reconciliation who has delivered several seminars on this topic, including for Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

“As an academic who has been interested in political inclusion for a long time, the appointment of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission raised important issues of respect and a different kind of inclusion that is intended to address historical injustices that we could no longer afford to ignore,” says Oxhorn.

“Dr. Oxhorn will help deepen local and regional dialogues and action on reconciliation through his depth of knowledge about reconciliation across multiple countries and international jurisdictions,” adds Nilson.

Oxhorn holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University, an MA in Political Science from the University of Canterbury and a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Redlands.

Reporting to VIU’s President, Oxhorn’s primary responsibility will be to provide leadership and oversight to the Faculty of International Education. In addition, he will work towards strengthening inter-professional collaborations and partnerships throughout the institution and ensuring maximum internationalization across VIU’s campuses and facilities. When not guiding this key faculty, Oxhorn can be found enjoying a good mystery novel or cooking.




Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6559 | C: 250.619.6860 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: International Education | Announcements

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