11/30/2014 09:12 EST | Updated 01/30/2015 05:59 EST

Michaëlle Jean chosen as new head of la Francophonie

Former governor general Michaëlle Jean has been chosen as secretary-general of la Francophonie, the organization announced on its Twitter account today.

Jean was elected at the summit of French-speaking nations in Dakar, Senegal, which began on Saturday. The organization has 57 members or associate members, while another 20 jurisdictions have observer status.

Jean's mandate will last four years. She was one of five candidates seeking to replace Abdou Diouf, who stepped down after more than 10 years on the job.

The 57-year-old was governor general between 2005 and 2010. She was born in Port-au-Prince on Sept. 6, 1957, during the era of the Duvalier dictatorships in Haiti.