The Right Honourable
David Johnston

28th Governor General of Canada


The Right Honourable David Johnston

The Right Honourable David Johnston was Canada’s 28th governor general. During his mandate, he established the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), a registered charity that supports and amplifies the Office of the Governor General in its work to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. Today, he is actively involved as Chair of the RHF Board of Directors. In 2018, he was appointed Colonel to the Royal Canadian Regiment.

Prior to his installation as governor general, Mr. Johnston was a professor of law for 45 years, and served as President of the University of Waterloo for two terms, Principal of McGill University for 3 terms. He was president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected chair at Harvard University’s Board of Overseers from which he graduated in 1963 magna cum laude and was twice named all-American in hockey and was named to Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

He holds degrees from Harvard, Cambridge and Queen’s and has received more than three dozen honorary degrees or fellowships. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 books. He was named Companion of the Order of Canada in 1997. He has chaired or served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees, and has served on the boards of more than a dozen public companies. He has been married for 59 years to Sharon and they have 5 daughters and 14 grandchildren.  

In the News

Charities must innovate to attract a new generation of donors

Published April 10, 2018 in The Globe and Mail

The debt we owe to Samuel de Champlain's heir

Published July 3, 2018 in The Globe and Mail

Expense Report

For the fiscal year 2020-21

For the fiscal year 2019-20


For the fiscal year 2018-19

For the fiscal year 2017-18