Michaëlle Jean was born in Port au Prince, Haiti. She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968, fleeing the dictatorial regime of the time.
After obtaining a Master of Arts in comparative literature at the University of Montreal she taught at the Faculty of Italian Studies at the same university. Three scholarships allowed her to pursue her studies at the University of Perouse, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan. She is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole.
During her studies, Ms. Jean worked for eight years with Quebec shelters for battered women, while actively contributing to the establishment of a network of emergency shelters throughout Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.
He really doesn't do himself any favours, does he?
You know, there's something iconically Canadian about all this. Hold, Shakespearean!