British Columbia’s next lieutenant-governor has a deep background in working with social and government organizations in the province.
Janet Austin, who is the CEO of the Metro Vancouver YWCA, will assume the post in the coming weeks, replacing Judith Guichon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Tuesday, describing Austin as an advocate whose work has helped others.
“Ms. Austin is an outstanding leader who has dedicated her career to improving the lives of others,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“I know she will work hard to represent the province, and its people, well.”
Austin will be the province’s 30th lieutenant-governor.
She is an active member of the community, serving on the board of transit operator Translink in Metro Vancouver, as well as the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Paediatric Society.
Austin was previously the executive director of Big Sisters of B.C. Lower Mainland and worked for B.C. Housing.
Guichon has been the province’s lieutenant-governor since 2012.
“As someone who has dedicated her career to championing women’s equality and social change, she is a wonderful choice to represent Her Majesty the Queen in this great province,” Guichon said in a news release. “Ms. Austin will continue to inspire and connect British Columbians in this role.”
Lieutenant-governors serve as the Queen’s personal representatives in their provinces and fulfil her roles and functions including granting royal assent to provincial laws. They serve terms of at least five years.
Austin has been recognized with several awards for her work. She has been named as one of Vancouver’s influential women in business, won the Vancouver Board of Trade Community Leadership Award and the Wendy McDonald Diversity Champion Award.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Calgary and an honorary doctorate of laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C.
After graduating from university, Austin worked in regional planning and ran public consultation and communications projects for the Alberta government in Calgary before going to work for B.C. Housing.