Stephen J. Toope

2012 to 2022

Professor Toope is vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge. He has been the president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.


Professor Stephen J. Toope is the vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, he was director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto from 2014 to 2016. He was President and Vice-Chancellor, the University of British Columbia, from 2006-14. A former President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and Dean of Law, McGill University, Professor Toope also served as Law Clerk to the Rt. Hon. Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada.

An International Law scholar who represented Western Europe and North America on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002-2007, Professor Toope’s academic interests include public international law, legal theory, human rights, international dispute resolution, and family law.

Professor Toope is active with many associations, currently serving as Chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC) and member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). He is Past Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and World University Services Canada (WUSC).

Professor Toope was President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation from 2002 to 2006. The Foundation is an independent, private, and non-partisan organization created to promote outstanding research and interaction between researchers in the social sciences and humanities and the wider society. From 1994-1999, Professor Toope served as the dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Previously, he served as Law Clerk to the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1986-1987. He continues to conduct research on many aspects of international law and is currently working on issues of human rights and culture, and the origins of international obligation in international society. His most recent book, with Jutta Brunnée, is Legitimacy and Legality in International Law: An Interactional Account, which won the American Society of International Law’s 2011 Certificate of Merit for Creative Scholarship.

A Canadian citizen, Professor Toope earned his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, (1987), his degrees in common law (LLB) and civil law (BCL) with honours from McGill University (1983), and graduated magna cum laude with his AB in History and Literature from Harvard University (1979).

Stephen Toope is married to Paula Rosen and they have three high school and university-aged children.