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Fri, 09.06.1957

Michaelle Jean, Politician born

Michaelle Jean

*Michaëlle Jean was born on this date in 1957.  She is a Black Canadian stateswoman and former journalist. 

Michaëlle Jean was a refugee from Haiti coming to Canada in 1968 and was raised in Thetford Mines, Quebec. After receiving many university degrees, Jean worked as a journalist and broadcaster for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as well as charity work, mostly assisting victims of domestic violence.

In 2005, she was appointed governor-general by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to replace Adrienne Clarkson as vicereine. She occupied the post until she was succeeded by David Johnston in 2010. Early in her tenure, comments recorded in some of the film's works by her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, were construed as supporting Quebec sovereignty. Her holding of dual citizenship caused doubt about her loyalties.

But Jean denied separatist leanings, renounced her citizenship of France (acquired through her marriage), and eventually became a respected vicereine noted for her attention to the Canadian Forces, Aboriginal Canadians, and the arts, especially youth involvement in them. In 2010, Jean was appointed to a four-year term as the Special Envoy for Haiti for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.  Jean was sworn in as a Queen's Privy Council for Canada member on September 26, 2012.

She was the third Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie from 2015 until 2019. She was the first woman to hold the position and held the position until the end of 2018. From 2005 to 2010, Jean was Governor-General of Canada, the 27th since the Canadian Confederation. She is the first Black Canadian to hold this office. 

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