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Michaëlle Jean


Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada

Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada

Simon Hayter / Getty Images

About Michaëlle Jean:

A well-known journalist and broadcaster in Quebec, Michaëlle Jean immigrated from Haiti with her family at an early age. Fluent in five languages - French, English, Italian, Spanish and Haitian Creole - Michaëlle Jean is the first black Governor General of Canada. A social activist for women and children at risk, Michaëlle Jean plans to use the office of Governor General to help disadvantaged young people. Michaëlle Jean is married to filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond and has a young daughter.

Governor General of Canada:

September 27, 2005 to 2010


Born in Port au Prince, Haiti in 1957. At the age of 11 in 1968, Michaëlle Jean and her family fled the Papa Doc Duvalier dictatorship and settled in Montreal.


  • BA - Italian, Hispanic Languages and Literature - University of Montreal

  • MA - Comparative Literature - University of Montreal

  • Also studied languages and literature at the University of Perouse, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan


  • university lecturer
  • social activist
  • journalist and broadcaster

Michaëlle Jean as Social Activist:

  • From 1979 to 1987 Michaëlle Jean worked with Quebec shelters for battered women and helped establish a network of emergency shelters in Quebec.

  • She co-ordinated a study on women as victims in abusive relationships, which was published in 1987.

  • Michaëlle Jean has also worked with aid organizations for immigrant women and families.

  • She worked at Employment and Immigration Canada and at the Conseil des Communautés culturelles du Québec.

Background of Michaëlle Jean in Arts and Communications:

  • Michaëlle Jean joined Radio-Canada in 1988. She worked as a reporter and then host on the public affairs proframs "Actuel," "Montréal ce soir," "Virages" and "Le Point."

  • In 1995, she anchored Réseau de l'Information à Radio-Canada (RDI) programs such as "Le Monde ce soir," "L'Édition québécoise," "Horizons francophones," "Les Grands reportages," "Le Journal RDI," and "RDI à l'écoute."

  • Since 1999, Michaëlle Jean has hosted CBC Newsworld's "The Passionate Eye" and "Rough Cuts."

  • In 2001, Michaëlle Jean became anchor for the weekend edition of "Le Téléjournal," Radio-Canada's major news show. In 2003 she took over as anchor of "Le Midi," the daily edition of "Le Téléjournal."

  • In 2004, she started her own show "Michaëlle," which featured in-depth interviews with experts and enthusiasts.

  • Michaëlle Jean has participated in a number of documentary films produced by her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond including "La manière nègre ou Aimé Césaire chemin faisant," "Tropique Nord," "Haïti dans tous nos rêves," and "L'heure de Cuba."

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