James J. Blanchard

James J. Blanchard served as the US Ambassador to Canada from 1993-1996.

Prior to his appointment, Jim Blanchard was Governor of Michigan for eight years (1983-1991) and also served four terms as a Member of the United States House of Representatives (1975-1983). Before election to Congress, he served as Michigan Assistant Attorney General (1969-1974).

Following his service as Ambassador, United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher presented Jim Blanchard with the Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service, an honor bestowed on only a handful of Ambassadors.

Ambassador Blanchard earned a B.A. (History) and M.B.A. degrees from Michigan State University and a J.D. law degree from the University of Minnesota. Ambassador Blanchard received honorary doctor of law degrees from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Oakland University, Alma College, Michigan State University and the University of Windsor.

He is a former Chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association and the National Democratic Platform Committee, and a former member of the National Governors’ Association Executive Committee. During the 1992 Presidential election, he was Chairman of the Clinton Campaign in Michigan. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 1991 Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Jewish National Fund’s Tree of Life Award, the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award and others. In 1978, he was named one of the ten “Outstanding Young Men in America” by the United States Jaycees.

He is married to Janet Blanchard, previously Associate Director of Personnel in the White House. He currently practices law and is Chairman of government affairs in the global law firm of DLA-Piper. Ambassador Blanchard also authored a best-selling account of his experiences as Ambassador, Behind the Embassy Door, in 1998.

Ambassadorial Post(s)

Canada, (1993 - 1996)

Areas of Expertise