Michaelle Jean is the third and last female governor general of Canada who just ended her term in October 2010. She is a journalist and stateswoman and former refugee from Haiti. She is also a Montrealer.
End of term
Michaelle Jean announced early in 2010 that she would step down from the position of governor general towards the end of the year. By this time she had won a 60 percent approval rating as governor general.
Princess Margriet of the Netherlands presented her with a tulipcultivar with deep maroon petals which was to be called the Michaelle Jean tulip; it was specifically designed to reflect the Governor General’s personal tastes. This tulip giving, is a longstanding tradition between the Netherlands and Canadian officials.
She was often criticized for being politically motivated when she exercised her role as viceregal, which is a non-partisan role. She was admired for her charm and ability to empathize with the people, and for this she was called the empathizer-in-chief. She embraced women’s issues, championed the issues of youth, supported Canada’s military and respected and embraced aboriginal culture and causes. She was admired for her eloquence in speaking and her dedication for freedom and human rights, and her quick response to the Haitian earthquake crisis. Michaelle Jean is truly a female icon for all women all over the world.
Special Envoy for Haiti
After her term ended, Michaëlle Jean was appointed the Special Envoy for Haiti by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to serve a four year term commencing November 8, 2010. Her mandate would be to fight against illiteracy and poverty and to raise international funds for this purpose. In early 2011, Jean made a call for the overhaul of Haiti’s education system, as
“the cornerstone of the impoverished nation’s future prosperity.”
The Canadian cabinet announced the Michaelle Jean Foundation,would be established by the federal Crown-in-Council, to support and promote education and culture in the northern territories and poor communities across Canada.
She was appointed “la grande termoin” for the English Olympics in London, 2012, by Secretary-General of “La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf” to promote the French language and ensure compliance by the Olympic organizing committee with rule 24 of the Olympic Charter.