Former OECD Secretary-General awarded French Légion d‘honneur


30/03/2012 - Donald J. Johnston, has been awarded the French Légion d’honneur for his service as Secretary-General of the OECD from 1996 to 2006.


The award expresses the acknowledgement of French President Nicolas Sarkozy for Mr. Johnston’s leadership in building co-operation between nations and cultures during his tenure as head of the OECD.


Congratulating his predecessor, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, “Don began opening the OECD to new ideas and new countries. Under his stewardship, the organisation expanded its dialogue on matters of global concern such as education, health, and sustainable development.  The OECD remains at the forefront of these and other issues, developing and exchanging good practices with our growing membership and through ever stronger ties with economies worldwide.”


Mr. Johnston, a lawyer, served as a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian government before being selected by OECD member countries to head the Organisation in 1996.  He served two terms, and was succeeded by Mr. Gurria in June 2006.


As he presented the Légion d’honneur to Mr. Johnston, French Prime Minister François Fillon noted his “brilliant career” as the first non-European Secretary-General of the OECD. 


For further information, please contact Helen Fisher in the OECD’s media division at + 331 45 24 80 97.


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