Dr. Peter J. Ricketts was appointed Acadia’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor in April 2017, beginning his six-year term in July, 2017. Born in Harrogate, Yorkshire and raised in Bournemouth on the south coast of England, Dr. Ricketts earned his BA (Honours) in Geography at the University of Nottingham in 1974 and his PhD from the University of Southampton in 1982. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in coastal zones and ocean management.
Dr. Ricketts has served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Carleton University in Ottawa since 2009. He has extensive experience as a senior university administrator, having also served as Vice-President (Academic and Research) and Professor of Geography at Nipissing University, in North Bay, ON between 2006 and 2009; as President (2004-2005) and Vice-President, Academic and Professor of Geography (2000-2004) at Okanagan University College; as Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University (1995-2000) in Halifax, and he was the first Director of Research at Saint Mary’s University (1989-1994), also in Halifax. Ricketts served two terms as President (1998-99 and 1999-2000) and one term as Vice-President (1997-1998) of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, and is currently Chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s Internationalization Leaders Network and Director of Ontario Universities International.
He has published extensively in the fields of coastal and ocean management, strategic environmental assessment, the applications of geographic information systems and information technology to support decision-making in coastal and ocean resource management, maritime boundary delineation, international coastal and ocean issues, and the management of coastal erosion. Dr. Ricketts has acted as a consultant for the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans, and Environment of the Government of Canada and for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US federal government. From 1990 to 1998 he served as a ministerial appointed member of the Nova Scotia Environmental Trust. Dr. Ricketts is currently a member of the Global Oceans Forum which works to develop ocean and coastal policy options in the implementation of the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
He served as President of the Coastal Zone Canada Association (CZCA) from 2002 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2016. The CZCA is Canada’s major organization for researchers, public policy practitioners, and community stakeholders in the area of coastal and ocean management. In June 2016, Dr. Ricketts was awarded the H. B. Nicholls Award in recognition of his leadership and significant contribution to integrated coastal and ocean management in Canada.
Dr. Ricketts is married to Maryann, and has two teenage children, Sean and Danielle, and a rescue dog named Willy. He is an avid soccer fan, supporting his home team of Bournemouth and still regularly playing soccer with colleagues at Carleton. In addition to soccer, Dr. Ricketts enjoys all kinds of sports, music, especially classical and folk, playing guitar, painting, hiking, and family vacations.