Michaëlle Jean

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Michaelle Jean is a former Canadian governor general and journalist who served as the country’s 27th governor general from 2005 until 2010. She is currently the Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the organization’s first female leader. She has spent years working for the Canadian public broadcasting company as a journalist, presenter, and news anchor. She is also actively involved in charity work. She has risen to the pinnacles of professional accomplishment from extremely humble and tough beginnings. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she fled to Canada as one of thousands of refugees fleeing her own country’s totalitarian rule. Her early years in Canada were difficult, but she heroically overcame obstacles to establish herself as a successful reporter and broadcaster. As the product of an abusive household, she empathized with female and young domestic abuse victims and was instrumental in establishing a network of emergency shelters throughout Quebec and Canada. As her career progressed, she was appointed Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada in 2005, and she demonstrated her ability to lead in this post as well. She is married to filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond and has appeared in several of his feature films and documentaries.

Childhood & Adolescence

She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 6 September 1957 to Roger and Luce. Her parents were both educators, and her father was the principal of an exclusive Protestant private school in Port-au-Prince.
Due to the dangerous political environment in Haiti at the time, Michaelle was schooled at home rather than sent to school.

In 1965, after her father was kidnapped and severely tortured by President François Duvalier’s henchmen, the family chose to flee the nation for their protection.
Her father immigrated to Canada in 1967, followed by the rest of the family. They eventually relocated in Quebec, but the family’s difficulties did not end there. Roger’s abuse became increasingly severe, and her parents divorced.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian and Hispanic languages and literature from the University of Montreal. She graduated from the same university with a Master of Arts degree in comparative literature.

At the University of Perugia and the Catholic University of Milan, she pursued her studies in language and literature.
She started acting with a women’s shelter while still in school and coordinated research on spousal abuse.

Michaelle Jean’s Career

She traveled to Haiti with a buddy in order to conduct a study on the island’s female population. Her work grabbed the attention of a National Film Board producer, who hired her as a researcher and interviewer for a film about the 1987 Haitian elections that aired on Radio-‘Le Canada’s Point,’ a news magazine program in the French language.

She was eventually hired by Radio-Canada in 1988 as a reporter, filmmaker, and presenter, contributing to several of the network’s shows, including ‘Actuel,’ ‘Montréal ce soir,’ and ‘Virages.’
She began her career in 1995 with the Réseau de l’information (RDI), Radio-all-news Canada’s channel, where she hosted a variety of programs including ‘Le Monde ce soir’, ‘l’Édition québécoise’, ‘Horizons francophones’, ‘Les Grands reportages’, and ‘Le Journal RDI’.

Over the next three years, she established herself as a very popular journalist, and by 2004, she was hosting her own show, ‘Michelle.’
On 27 September 2005, she became Canada’s 27th Governor-General, following Adrienne Clarkson as the country’s first black governor-general.

She then proceeded on viceregal tours throughout Canada’s provinces and territory over the next number of years. She spoke with members of women’s organizations and spoke about the situation of battered women who are victims of domestic violence during these travels.

In February 2009, she welcomed US President Barack Obama to Canada for his inaugural foreign visit. The same year, she sparked outrage by eating a piece of heart from a freshly gutted seal during an Inuit seal feast.
She utilized her position as governor-general to advocate for human rights, promote Canada, and she’d focus on the country’s socio-economic challenges. On 30 September 2010, she resigned from her position.

In October 2010, she was appointed chair of the board of directors of the Institut Québécois des Hautes Études Internationales at Université Laval. In November 2010, she was also appointed as UNESCO’s special envoy to Haiti.

In November 2014, she was chosen secretary-general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the first woman, and first Canadian to occupy the role.

Her Significant Works

Throughout her tenure as Governor-General of Canada, she was a vocal advocate for female victims of assault.

Awards and Accomplishments

She received the Amnesty International Canada Journalism Award in 1995.
She won the Prix Gémeaux award for Best Interview: All Categories in 2001 from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

She received the United Nations Development Fund for Women’s (UNIFEM) Canada Award in 2009 for her remarkable contribution to gender equality. She also earned the National Quality Institute’s Board of Governors Recognition Achievement Award that year for her contributions to the quality of life of Canadians and humanity.

Personal History and Legacies

In 1991, she traveled to the Caribbean in order to work on a documentary about Martinique poet Aimé Césaire. There she met and married Jean-Daniel Lafond, the film’s French-born Canadian director. Marie-Eden is the couple’s adopted daughter.

In 2011, the international network of Universities Fighting World Hunger established the Michaelle Jean Award to honor students who have made significant contributions to hunger relief during an emergency relief scenario.

Estimated Net worth

Michaelle is one of the wealthiest journalists and is ranked on Forbes’ list of the most popular journalists. Michaelle Jean’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.