Jean, Michaëlle

Jean, Michaëlle,

1957–, Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and women's rights activist, b. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her family immigrated to Canada in 1968. After studying languages and literature at the Univ. of Montreal, she taught Italian there while also working to establish a network of women's shelters in Quebec and publishing a government study on women in abusive relationships (1987). She worked (1988–2005) for Radio-Canada, first as a reporter and then as a host of public affairs programs and anchor of her own show. In the 1990s she and her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, made several documentary films including Haiti dans tous nos rêves [Haiti in all our dreams]. Jean subsequently has served as governor-general of Canada (2005–10), chancellor of the Univ. of Ottawa (2012–15), and secretary-general of the International Organization of La Francophonie (2015–).