International Institute, April 22, 2014 — Unlike the United States, many countries separate the duties of head of state from the day-to-day practice of executive power. In parliamentary democracies that have many parties and a low electoral threshold for gaining legislative seats, coalition governments come and go, but heads of state may serve for decades.
Our neighbor to the north has a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is formally vested in the Queen, but is exercised in practice by a prime minister and his cabinet. The governor general, who represents the Queen, is both the official head of state and the Commander-in-Chief.
His Excellency the Right Honorable David Lloyd Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will visit UCLA on April 29. The author of eight books on various aspects of corporate finance, securities, and information technology law, Johnston spent a long career as an accomplished legal scholar and university administrator before becoming governor general in October 2010.
Johnston has served as president of the University of Waterloo (1999–2010), principal and vice chancellor of McGill University (1979–1994), and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario (1974–1979). He has also twice (1979 and 1984) moderated televised debates among Canadian federal candidates.
As governor general, Johnston presides over the swearing-in of the prime minister, the chief justice of Canada, and cabinet ministers; he also summons, dissolves, and discontinues sessions of Parliament. Among his many ceremonial duties is to receive royal visitors and foreign dignitaries during their visits to Canada.
Johnston’s expertise in corporate and information technology law, together with his commitment to advancing research and technology, earned him a great honor at the University of Waterloo, which renamed its Research and Technology Park in his honor in 2001. Canada’s most innovative university, Waterloo is recognized for its advanced research and teaching in science and engineering, health, environmental issues, and the arts and social sciences. It is also home to the world's largest postsecondary cooperative education program.
It is only fitting that a scholar and statesman steeped in issues of business and technology should speak at UCLA, where the DARPA project gave birth to the Internet. The fact that Johnston is Canada’s head of state gives added weight to his topic: how the United States and Canada can promote innovation across borders and create a “diplomacy of knowledge.”
Join us to hear the governor general’s remarks on Tuesday, April 29, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute auditorium at 570 Westwood Plaza
. An RSVP is required
Click here to read a Daily Bruin interview
with the Governor General.
The Governor General's visit is cosponsored by UCLA's International Institute, Burkle Center for International Relations, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Canadian Studies at UCLA and the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.