IB graduate and astronaut appointed Canada’s new governor general
Julie Payette (54), a former astronaut and IB graduate, is to be Canada’s next governor general.
She was the first Canadian on the International Space Station, the first woman to work as lead communicator at the Mission Control Center, and the first IB graduate in space. Payette left her native Canada at the age of 16 to study the Diploma Programme at the United World College (UWC) of the Atlantic in Wales, the UK. She then graduated cum laude from McGill University and completed her Master of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.
In 2010, Payette was profiled in IB World Magazine, where she commented on her experience of being in space: “Seeing the Earth like that makes you appreciate it and want to take care of it,” she said. “It reinforces the fact that there is only one planet.We all share it and it isn’t self- sustaining.We have to work at it.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an IB graduate himself, called her “unquestionably qualified”. She speaks six languages, and serves as a board member for Drug Free Kids Canada and Own the Podium.