He was appointed provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province by Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, effective June 19, 2014. Father Paulson succeeded Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, who became the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States in Washington, DC. As provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province, Fr. Paulson served with Fr. Tom Lawler, SJ, provincial of the Wisconsin Province, until the two provinces joined to become the USA Midwest Province on June 5, 2017.
Father Paulson entered the Society of Jesus at Loyola House Jesuit Novitiate in Berkley, Mich., on September 12, 1981. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1992, and pronounced final vows on March 25, 2001. A native of Waukegan, Ill., he attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis. When the school closed in 1975, he finished his high school education at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Since joining the Jesuits Fr. Paulson has earned a master’s in political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a bachelor’s degree of Sacred Theology from Centre Sevres in Paris, a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts.
Father Paulson served as vocations director for the Chicago Province from 1993–98. He was then president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago for 11 years before he became the rector of the Loyola University Chicago Jesuit Community in 2010.