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The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.D.

28th Governor General of Canada

The Right Honourable David Johnston was the 28th governor general of Canada, from October 1, 2010, to October 2, 2017.

Mr. Johnston was born in Copper Cliff, near Sudbury, Ontario, the son of a local hardware store manager. He graduated from Harvard University in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations and went on to study law at Cambridge University and Queen’s University, receiving bachelor of law degrees from both institutions.

After teaching law at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, Mr. Johnston became dean of law at the University of Western Ontario. In 1979, he became principal of McGill University, where he served until 1994. In 1999, he was appointed president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, where he served until 2010. Throughout his academic career, Mr. Johnston continued to be an active researcher and writer, publishing several books on corporate law, securities regulation and information technology law. He received honorary doctorates from more than a dozen universities.

Mr. Johnston’s focus as governor general was to foster “a smarter, more caring nation.” He honoured those who had given their time to worthy causes and introduced the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to replace the Caring Canadian Award. He created the Rideau Hall Foundation, a charity that works with the governor general to foster leadership, education, philanthropy and innovation.

(photo by Serge Gouin, courtesy Rideau Hall)