Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis, ONS

The Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis served from 2015-2020 as the first Distinguished Public Service Fellow, in the Faculty of Management, School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University.

In December 2020, She was appointed as the Dean’s Warden for The Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, NS.

Dr. Francis served as Lieutenant Governor for the province of Nova Scotia, from 2006-2012. She was the first African Nova Scotian and second woman to be appointed as the vice-regal representative. As Lieutenant Governor, she attended more than 3000 activities with a focus on community. She served a four-year commission as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 3 Intelligence Company in the Canadian Forces. Her accomplishments while Lieutenant Governor include welcoming Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to Nova Scotia and Government House in 2010, supporting the arts, celebrating young people, opening Government House for guest lectures and conferring a posthumous Free Pardon on Nova Scotia entrepreneur and civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond. She was the first vice-regal representative to grant the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, Free Pardon in the history of Canada.

She is the recipient of honourary degrees from Mount St. Vincent University, St. Mary’s University, York University in Ontario, Dalhousie University, Atlantic School of Theology, Acadia University, Cape Breton University and an Honorary Diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College.

Her numerous awards include a Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence, an award from the Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia, and medals for both the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees. She was the recipient of a Luminary Award from the University of the West Indies. She was also awarded the World Peace Tartan from the Celtic Cultural Society of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Francis graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University. In addition, she has a Certificate in Equal Opportunity Studies from Cornell University, a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Long Island University and a Certificate in Theological Studies from the Atlantic School of Theology.

Her past leadership roles include Chair of the Board of Governors for the Atlantic School of Theology, Director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman for the province of Nova Scotia, Assistant Deputy Minister in Ontario, Employment Equity Officer for Dalhousie University, co-chair of an International project with United Way-Centraide and Administrative Manager in Human Resources with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Brooklyn NY.

She has served on boards and committees of numerous not-for-profit organizations including the United Way, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Imagine Canada and The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy.

In 2015, the Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus in Cape Breton Nova Scotia where she was born, renamed the campus library The Honourable Mayann Francis Library, in recognition of the Honourable Mayann Francis Hope and Inspiration Award, created by Dr. Francis to provide financial assistance on all fourteen campuses to enrolled students who are experiencing financial difficulty. Each award is valued at $1000. The Atlantic School of Theology recognized Dr. Francis by naming the Faith in Action Award, created by Dr. Francis, The Honourable Mayann Francis Faith In Action Award. The Award recognizes unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make our communities a better place to live. In addition to her list of credentials, Dr. Francis can add author. Nimbus Publishing published her first children’s book, “Mayann’s Train Ride” in October 2015, which was translated into French in 2018. Her memoir, Mayann Francis, An Honourable Life, was released in June 2019 and was listed in The Hill Times’ list of 100 best non-fiction books in 2019. The Hill Times is Canada’s Politics and Government Newspaper. Her memoir was also shorted listed for The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award in June 2020. The audible version of her memoir is also available. Dr. Francis second children’s book is scheduled for publication in spring 2022. She is in much demand as a speaker.