Leesa Wheelahan is a professor in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto where she holds William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership. Prior to commencing at the University of Toronto in 2014, she was an associate professor of adult and vocational education at the University of Melbourne. She is a past editor of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training.

Her research interests focus on the role of theoretical knowledge in qualifications; pathways between the sectors of tertiary education and between tertiary education and the labour market; relations between colleges and universities; and tertiary education policy. In recent years, her research has focused on baccalaureate degrees in colleges; marketisation and privatisation in vocational education and in the college sector; and the role that colleges play in society and in their communities.