Canada’s next Governor General is the model for a character in a romantic potboiler, a star hockey player at Harvard, a decorated academic and a prolific author.

His resume is packed with titles, accomplishments and awards.

He has rebuffed pleas to run for different federal parties, says a longtime friend who describes his politics as moderately right of centre.

For all the dazzle, David Johnston is a safe choice for a prime minister navigating the precarious waters of minority government.

Everyone agrees the 69-year-old Johnston is thoughtful, diplomatic and humble enough to know when to step out of the limelight. But he’s also affable enough to garner respect from a broad array of Canadians.

“He is, of course, the consummate professional,” said his friend Tom Jenkins, executive chairman of Open Text Corp. “He is one of those individuals who is very comfortable leading from behind. He’s a very humble man. But he is one of great capability.”

Johnston was the son of a hardware merchant who was born in Sudbury, and grew up in nearby Sault Ste. Marie. He spent his youth playing hockey and studying law, earning degrees at Harvard, Cambridge, and Queen’s University in Kingston.