Rev. Fr. Karel S. San Juan, SJ

Ateneo de Davao University
Davao City


Fr. Karel S. San Juan SJ brings to the Presidency of Ateneo de Davao University his rich background in academics, Jesuit vocation, service, and university leadership.

His academic journey includes earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, graduating cum laude and valedictorian from Ateneo de Manila University in 1986, and a Bachelor in Sacred Theology, graduating summa cum laude from Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University in March 2010. In 1993, he took his Master in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, graduating with distinction. Later, as a Jesuit, in May 2007, he received a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, USA.

As a Jesuit priest, he entered the Society of Jesus Philippine Province in May 1998 and was ordained to the priesthood in April 2010. He completed tertianship in June 2013 and pronounced his final vows in February 2015. He was the elected delegate of the Jesuit Philippine Province to the 36th General Congregation in Rome from October to November 2016.

His professional journey started right after the 1986 EDSA revolution when he joined social development offices at the Ateneo de Manila University. After earning his graduate degrees, he moved toward consultancy and facilitation roles, particularly in strategic planning, development management, and organizational development, for various Philippine government agencies, local and international NGOs, schools, and Church organizations. He taught at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Asian Institute of Management. He co-designed the PhD in Leadership Studies program of Ateneo de Manila University. He has given several talks and seminars and published articles on leadership, spirituality, and organizational development.

As a Jesuit, he has held leadership positions in the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, Center for Ignatian Spirituality, San Jose Seminary, Jesuit Higher Education Commission, Commission on Ministries, and Emmaus Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation. At Emmaus Center, he developed programs related to formation for formators, formative leadership, psychotherapeutic treatment, and continuing care of Church personnel.

Fr. San Juan served as the President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University from October 2013 to March 2023. Through these years, he navigated several challenges, including the Zamboanga siege, terrorist threats, the K-12 transition, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He launched rebuilding and fundraising initiatives after a fire. He led the creation of a new campus from a generous benefaction. He facilitated the university’s responses to several city and regional socio-economic-political challenges, including support for the Bangsamoro region. The university reinforced its leadership in the region in academic excellence, social development, and integral formation.

In September 2023, he assumed the role as President of Ateneo de Davao University.

Office of the University President
Canisius Hall
Ateneo de Davao University
E Jacinto St, 8016 Davao City
Tel +63 82 221.2411 local 8201 | Fax +63 82 226.4116