Broadcaster and Diplomat.
Daughter of William Poy, a prominent Chinese businessman in Hong Kong who lost his property when the Japanese invaded in 1941, Clarkson came to Canada as a refugee with her parents in 1942. After schooling and university in Ottawa, Toronto, and Paris, she began a career in broadcasting in 1965.
For three decades, Clarkson wrote, produced, and hosted a variety of television programs, including news investigations, interviews, and the promotion of national arts organizations and performers. She is the author of two novels as well as other books, and was herself publisher at the Canadian publishing house, McClelland and Stewart, from 1987 to 1989.
Fluently bilingual (English and French), Clarkson served as the Province of Ontario's agent-general in Paris from 1982 to 1987. After chairing the boards of several national institutions, Clarkson took up another diplomatic role in October 1999 when she became Governor-General of Canada.
This office charges her with symbolizing national community and continuity, a role she undertakes with energy and enthusiasm. At present, she is one of Canada's best recognized citizens.