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Flora MacDonald (1926-2015) was the first female Secretary of State for External Affairs in Canadian history and one of the first female foreign ministers in the world. She served as Chair of the Board of Canada's International Development Research Centre from 1992 to 1997 and was known for her humanitarian work empowering women abroad. The Passerelle Flora Footbridge over the Rideau Canal was named in her honour in 2018. Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, MacDonald lived in Ottawa.


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize finalist Geoffrey Stevens on Flora!

Award History

2022 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for Flora!: A Woman in a Man's World

Jury Citation

“A trailblazer in the Progressive Conservative Party, Flora MacDonald navigated the highs and lows of her political career with trademark verve and charm. Flora! paints rich new portraits of Tories from John Diefenbaker to Brian Mulroney and provides timely context for the Conservative coalition’s internal debates. MacDonald’s most celebrated episodes — her 1976 run for the PC leadership and her role in the “Canadian Caper” in Iran — contain an equal helping of caution and wisdom for today’s politicians.”

— 2022 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Charelle Evelyn, Jacques Poitras, and Lisa Raitt)