Statement from Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa, upon the election of The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean as the first female Secretary-General of la Francophonie

Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2014

Here is the statement issued today by Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa, following the election of The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean as the Secretary-General of la Francophonie.

On behalf of the University of Ottawa, I extend our warmest and most sincere congratulations to our Chancellor, The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, on the occasion of her election as Secretary-General of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF).

Mme Jean is uniquely qualified to assume this important and prestigious office. As Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, she has always been a passionate champion of diversity and linguistic duality, and a distinctive voice for the francophone community here in Ontario, across Canada and abroad. Prior to her role at the University of Ottawa, of course, she served with great distinction as Canada's 27th Governor General and Commander in Chief, leaving an indelible mark by virtue of the energy and personal warmth with which she carried out her Vice Regal duties. She has also held office as UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti, and is co-founder and co-chair (with her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond) of the national charitable organization the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

Throughout her illustrious career, Mme Jean has always demonstrated exceptional leadership in the many demanding and high-profile roles she has assumed. Her unique personal qualities, coupled with her firm grasp of global issues and an unconditional commitment to the development agenda, make her the ideal choice to take on the challenges facing la Francophonie at this time. In her new role as Secretary-General of La Francophonie, there is no doubt that she will reach new levels of achievement and collaboration for the organization.

Please join me in wishing Mme Jean every success in her leadership of the OIF. This is a remarkable distinction of which the entire University of Ottawa community can be proud.

Allan Rock
President and Vice-Chancellor

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