Some information on this website may be out-of-date following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Appointment of the new Governor General of Canada

Published 4 August 2005


The Queen, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada, has been pleased to approve the appointment of Ms Michaëlle Jean as the next Governor General of Canada.

Ms Jean will serve in succession to the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and will assume office on 27 September 2005.

Michaëlle Jean was born in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a young child in 1968, she had to leave her country with her family and subsequently settled in Canada.

Ms Jean received a Bachelor of Arts in Italian and Hispanic languages and literature, and continued her studies towards a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of Montreal.

From 1984 to 1986, she taught at the Faculty of Italian Studies of the same university, as well as undertaking research at the University of Perouse, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan. She is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole.

Michaëlle Jean also worked for eight years from 1979 to 1987 with Québec shelters for battered women, taking in and supporting women and children in crisis, while actively contributing to the establishment of a network of emergency shelters throughout Québec and elsewhere in Canada. She was also involved in aid organisations for immigrant women and families.

For the past 18 years, Ms Jean has been a well-known and highly regarded journalist, anchor and host of information programmes on Radio-Canada and CBC Newsworld. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to Canadian broadcasting and journalism.

Michaëlle Jean is married to Jean-Daniel Lafond, a former professor of philosophy, a film critic, a specialist in the audio-visual field, a documentary film maker, and a writer.

They have a daughter, Marie-Eden, who is six years old. Michaëlle Jean's family also includes Mr. Lafond's two daughters from a previous marriage and his two grandchildren.

Further information
Read the Governor General Designate's speech on learning of her appointment

Read about The Queen and the Commonwealth

Visit the web site of the Governor General of Canada

Visit the Canadian Heritage web site