Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean
By Sentinel News Service
Published March 26, 2009

 Women's History Month
Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean

Micha‘lle Jean is the first Black Governor General of Canada, serving from September 27, 2005 to present.
Jean was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on September 6, 1957. In 1968, the Jean family decided to leave Haiti and settle in Quebec, Canada.

She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Italian, Hispanic Languages and Literature from the University of Montreal as well as her Masters of Arts degree in Comparative Literature, also from the University of Montreal. Jean continued to study languages and literature at the University of Perouse, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan.

As a social advocate from 1979 to 1987, Jean worked to rescue battered women and helped establish a network of emergency shelters in Quebec. She facilitated a study on women in abusive relationships, which was published in 1987. Jean has also worked with organizations that aid immigrant families.

Jean began to focus on journalism in the late 1980s and by 1988 was a reporter for the program, Actuel. From 1991-1992, she hosted Virages and also from 1989-1992, Jean appeared on the national and international news program, Le Point. She has hosted CBC News The Passionate Eye and Rough Cuts since 1999. Jean has also done three major documentary films.

Jean has received many awards including the Amnesty International Journalism Award in 1995 and the 2000 Galaxi Award for best information program host.

Jean is the third journalist in a row to be appointed as Governor. Clarkson worked for the CBC. Her predecessor – RomŽo Leblanc – worked as a journalist for Radio-Canada in the early 1960s. Jeanne SauvŽ , who was the first woman to hold the post of governor general, had a 20-year career at the CBC before she entered politics in 1972.
Jean and her husband have a six-year-old daughter.

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