2007 Social Social

Paul Gérin-Lajoie is the Founding President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation, to which he is entirely dedicated. Since 1977, this philanthropic organization is dedicated to children’s basic education and welfare in underprivileged communities of Francophone Africa and Haiti, while also providing literacy education for their parents. The Foundation also works to raise the awareness of the Canadian public, and more particularly of Canadian children, of international issues and realities, in addition to fostering their participation in international cooperation.

Between 1960 and 1966, Paul Gérin-Lajoie was Quebec’s first Minister of Education. He was also Deputy Premier and Youth Minister. During those years, he was the leading force behind the profound changes the Quiet Revolution brought to the Quebec education system. In addition, this strong man of the Lesage Government initiated the province’s first international projects.

President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CI DA) from 1970 to 1977, Paul Gérin-Lajoie has sat on the Board of Governors of the World Bank and of four large regional development banks for Africa (ADB), Latin America (IDB), the Caribbean (CDB) and Asia (AsDB). Paul Gérin-Lajoie has also been Vice Chairman of the African Development Fund’s Board of Governors (ADF). He was a member of the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC ) and member of the Board of Directors of the Export Development Corporation (EDC).

After leaving CI DA in 1977, his closest collaborators created the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation, of which he became President and CEO . He continues to act as the Foundation’s Founding President and Chairman of the Board.

A Rhodes scholar, Paul Gérin-Lajoie holds a Licence in Law from the Université de Montréal and is a member of the Quebec Bar. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Constitutional Law from Oxford University, England. He has received 13 honourary degrees from universities in Canada and abroad, as well as the A. David Award in moral and political sciences from the Quebec Government and the Peace Prize from the World Federalists of Canada.

Paul Gérin-Lajoie has been made Companion of the Order of Canada, Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, Knight of the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur (France), Officer of the Ordre de la Pléiade, Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Lion (Sénégal), recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and Commander “Pro Merito Melitensi” of the Sovereign Military and Hospital Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malte. He is also the author of numerous publications.

Paul Gérin-Lajoie was awarded UNESCO ’s King Sejong Literacy Prize in 2001 and was honoured by the Government of Haiti in March 2005 for outstanding contribution by a foreign personality to the development of Haiti in the area of education.