David Johnston ’63 Named Governor General of Canada

Johnston poses for a team photo among his 1962-63 teammates.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—David Johnston ’63, a two-time All-America defenseman for the Harvard men’s hockey team, has been named Canada’s governor general, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday.

Johnston, currently president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, has been approved by Queen Elizabeth II and will take over in his new role Oct. 1. The governor general is the queen’s representative in Canada and has a variety of constitutional responsibilities including the summoning and dissolution of Parliament.

“Mr. Johnston has a strong record of public service, a broad base of support and an impressive list of achievements,” Harper said in a news release. “He has extensive legal expertise, a comprehensive understanding of government and a deep appreciation of the duties and tasks now before him.”

Johnston has also served as president and vice-chancellor of McGill University and has held teaching positions at several prominent Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and the University of Western Ontario. He has published extensively and has served as chair, member or advisor to two dozen government agencies, boards and roundtables.

“David Johnston represents the best of Canada,” said Harper. “He represents hard work, dedication, public service and humility. I am confident he will continue to embody these traits in his new role as the Crown’s representative in Canada.”

The governor general designate was selected following extensive national consultations by an expert advisory committee.

At Harvard, Johnston earned first-team All-America, All-Ivy League and All-ECAC selections in both 1961-62 and 1962-63. He led the Crimson to records of 21-3-2 overall, 17-3-2 in the ECAC and 9-0-1 in the Ivy League en route to ECAC and Ivy championships in 1962-63. Harvard won the Ivy title in each of his three years as a letterwinner, posting a combined record of 27-1-2 in Ancient Eight play.

Johnston was the recipient of the John Tudor Memorial Cup as the team’s most valuable player for 1962-63, despite not scoring a goal during the season. His assist on the winning goal by Gene Kinasewich ’64 in overtime of the 1963 ECAC championship game was his 25th of the season, a Harvard defenseman record at the time.