Jean-Louis Roy is an academic, journalist and diplomat who has been editor-in-chief of Le Devoir (1981-1986), Delegate General for Quebec in Paris (1986-1990), and secretary general of Agence intergouvernementale de la francophonie, the forerunner of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (1990-1998). From 2002 to 2007, he was president of Rights and Democracy, and in 2008, he founded Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Watch, which monitors how well United Nation member states comply with international human rights standards.
He completed an undergraduate degree in history at Laval University before earning a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Montreal and then a doctorate in history at McGill University. He has taught contemporary history at McGill, at l’École nationale d’administration publique in Paris and at Glendon College. He has also taught social history at the University of Ottawa and at the Université du Québec campus in Trois-Rivières, and geopolitics at l’École polytechnique de Montréal. Jean-Louis Roy has been a visiting researcher at the Centre de recherche en droit public, a centre for research in public law, at the University of Montreal.
Several international organizations have called upon his expertise, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Organisation for La Francophonie (IOF), the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), along with several governments, including those of Quebec and Canada. From 2008 to 2013, he chaired the board of the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques, an organization dedicated to promoting the Francophonie in the Americas, and since 2009, he has served on the Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Council of Export Development Canada. As a business consultant, he has advised private companies (Afrique Expansion, CRC Sogema, Weber Shandwick), and serves on the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, on the strategic advisory council of the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (a group of some 800 universities), as well as on the board of the Ordre national du Québec, Quebec’s highest honour.
Jean-Louis Roy has received honorary doctorates from the University of Moncton and Université Sainte-Anne, and over 20 countries have bestowed honours on him. He has authored several publications on history, politics and literature, which have been published in six languages in Canada, the United States, Brazil, France, Belgium, Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Senegal and China.