Former Governors General

September 30, 2010 to October 1, 2017

The Right Honourable David Johnston

September 26, 2005 to September 29, 2010

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean

October 6, 1999 to September 26, 2005

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

February 7, 1995 to October 6, 1999

The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc

January 28, 1990 to February 7, 1995

The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn

May 13, 1984 to January 27, 1990

The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé

January 21, 1979 to May 13, 1984

The Right Honourable Edward Richard Schreyer

January 13, 1974 to January 21, 1979

The Right Honourable Jules Léger

April 16, 1967 to January 13, 1974

The Right Honourable Roland Michener

September 14, 1959 to March 4, 1967

General The Right Honourable Georges Philias Vanier

February 27, 1952 to September 14, 1959

The Right Honourable Vincent Massey

April 11, 1946 to February 27, 1952

Lord Alexander

June 20, 1940 to April 11, 1946

Lord Athlone

November 1, 1935 to February 10, 1940

Lord Tweedsmuir

April 3, 1931 to November 1, 1935

Lord Bessborough

August 4, 1926 to April 3, 1931

Lord Willingdon

August 1, 1921 to August 4, 1926

Lord Byng

November 10, 1916 to August 1, 1921

Duke of Devonshire

October 12, 1911 to November 10, 1916

H.R.H The Duke of Connaught

December 9, 1904 to October 12, 1911

Lord Grey

November 11, 1898 to December 9, 1904

Lord Minto

September 17, 1893 to November 11, 1898

Lord Aberdeen

June 10, 1888 to September 17, 1893

Lord Stanley

October 22, 1883 to June 10, 1888

The Marquess of Lansdowne

November 24, 1878 to October 22, 1883

Lord Lorne

June 24, 1872 to November 24, 1878

Lord Dufferin

February 1, 1869 to June 24, 1872

Lord Lisgar

June 30, 1867 to November 13, 1868

Lord Monck

Until 1931, Canada’s governor general was chosen by the Sovereign. This changed when the Canadian government began to make recommendations for the position. In 1952, the Prime Minister of Canada recommended, for the first time, a Canadian-born citizen for governor general. His name was Vincent Massey, and his nomination marked an important evolution in the office and Canadian history, reflecting the country’s new sense of autonomy and identity in the post-war era. Since then, all of Canada’s governors general have been Canadian citizens. 

Having worked in fields as diverse as education, journalism, law, diplomacy and politics, governors general come to the position with a range of perspectives, experiences and expertise. What unites them is a shared desire to serve Canada in a non-partisan manner.