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Governor General

 

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Micha�lle Jean, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada

Biography

Michaëlle Jean was born in Port au Prince, Haiti. She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968, fleeing the dictatorial regime of the time.

After pursuing Masters studies in comparative literature at the University of Montreal she taught at the Faculty of Italian Studies at the same university. Three scholarships allowed her to pursue her studies at the University of Perugia, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan. She is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole.

During her studies, Ms. Jean worked for eight years with Quebec shelters for battered women, while actively contributing to the establishment of a network of emergency shelters throughout Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. She later ventured into journalism and became a highly regarded journalist and anchor of information programs at Radio-Canada and CBC Newsworld. She also took part in documentary films produced by her husband, filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, including A State of Blackness: Aimé Césaire’s Way (La manière nègre ou Aimé Césaire, chemin faisant), Tropic North (Tropique Nord), Haiti in All Our Dreams (Haïti dans tous nos rêves), and Last Call for Cuba (L’heure de Cuba), all of which earned awards both in Canada and internationally. The couple have a daughter, Marie-Éden.

Ms. Jean has won numerous honours, including the Prix Mireille-Lanctôt for a report on spousal violence; the Prix Anik for best information reporting in Canada for her investigation of the power of money in Haitian society; and the inaugural Amnesty International Canada Journalism Award. She has also been named to the Ordre des Chevaliers de La Pléiade, by the Assemblée internationale des parlementaires de langue française, and has been made an honorary citizen by the City of Montreal and the Ministère de l’Immigration et des relations avec les citoyens of Quebec in recognition of her accomplishments in communications.

Michalle Jean became Canadas 27th governor general in September 2005.

Updated: 2009-04-30
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