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Flora McDonald (1926 - 2015)

First Female Foreign Minister

Flora McDonald (1926 - 2015)

Flora MacDonald was an inspirational woman from Nova Scotia. She was Canada’s first female Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and one of the first female foreign ministers anywhere in the world. She was also the first woman to challenge for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.

  • As foreign minister, she played a key role in the escape of six American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis of 1980. She authorized the issue of false Canadian passports so that the Americans could leave Iran.
  • After the Vietnam War, MacDonald created a plan to help more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to enter Canada.
  • She once climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest.
  • She wrote an environmental book called, Rain Forest.
  • MacDonald received the Order of Canada as an Officer in 1992 and was promoted to Companion in 1998.
  • She was a global ambassador for a variety of charities and founded her own NGO called Future Generations Canada. This organization set up environmental projects and created schools for girls in Afghanistan.
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