Janet Austin appointed as B.C.’s new Lieutenant Governor


Janet Austin
Janet Austin

British Columbia has a new Lieutenant Governor.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday announced the appointment of Janet Austin, replacing Judith Guichon whose five-year term ended earlier this year.

Austin has long been an advocate for social change. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Metro Vancouver, a position she has held since 2003. Prior to joining the YWCA, she was the Executive Director of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland and worked for BC Housing.

Raised in Calgary, she is a graduate of English from the University of Calgary. Austin spent the early years of her career in a variety of public sector roles in Calgary, working in regional planning and running public consultation and communications projects for the Alberta government. She eventually moved to B.C., where she began working with BC Housing.

Austin was named in Vancouver Magazine`s Power 50 for 2014 and is a recipient of the Business in Vancouver (BIV) Influential Woman in Business Award, the Vancouver Board of Trade Community Leadership Award and Wendy MacDonald Diversity Champion Award, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the SFU Beedie School of Business BASS Award, the YWCA Canada Carolyn Barry Bray Award and the YWCA Canada Cleta Herman Award, the Big Sisters Big Heart Award for outstanding contribution by a volunteer and the Downtown Vancouver BIA Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2008, Austin was included in the Women’s Executive Network’s list of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2013. In 2016, she was named BIV CEO of the Year in the non-profit category and was invested as a Member of the Order of BC.

 Austin is an active member of various local and national organizations, including the Board of Directors of Translink and the City of Vancouver’s Healthy City for All Leadership Table. During her career, she has served on numerous boards, including the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Paediatric Society.