David Johnston began his professional career as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in 1966, moving to the Law Faculty at the University of Toronto in 1968. He became dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario in 1974. In 1979, he was named principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, and in July 1994, he returned to the McGill Faculty of Law as a full-time professor. In June 1999, he became the fifth president of the University of Waterloo.
Mr. Johnston has served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees. He has also served on the boards of a number of companies, including Arise, CGI, Fairfax, and Masco. 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 founding chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, chaired the federal government’s Information Highway Advisory Council, and served as the first non-American chair of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University. He is the author or co-author of two dozen books, holds honorary doctorates from over a dozen universities, and has been awarded the Order of Canada (Companion).
Mr. Johnston holds an LL.B. from Queen’s University (1966), an LL.B. from the University of Cambridge (1965), and an AB from Harvard University (1963). While at Harvard, he was twice selected for the All-American hockey team and is a member of Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame. His academic specializations include securities regulation, information technology and corporate law.
He was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and is married to Sharon Johnston. They have five adult daughters and nine grandchildren.
Sworn in on October 1, 2010, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston is the 28th governor general since Confederation.