Janelle Lassonde served as a Director of Credit Risk at UBS and was based in London and Johannesburg, where she led the investment bank’s mining and sub-Saharan Africa portfolios. Originally from Illinois, she is now based in Toronto and Antibes (France), from where she writes and blogs. Her articles have appeared in outlets such as Maclean’s, The Good Life France, and her blog, “French Lessons,” and she recently completed a memoir with the working title Roquelune: The House That Taught Me French.
Unlike French, Janelle counts music as a native language. Having begun piano lessons at the age of four, she switched as a teen to the flute, which became her life-long instrument. She sang alto with London’s All Souls Choir and South Africa’s Chanticleer Singers, and more recently added the cello to her musical skills.
In the wider community, Janelle is a board member of Opportunity International (US), a global nonprofit that seeks to end generational poverty, and an unwavering advocate of its Education Finance work, for which the organization recognized her with its Women’s Leadership Award, Catalyst Award, and Opportunity International Canada’s Honour Coin. Past board positions have included The Walrus, WorldVuze Education, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
Janelle has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University (Phi Beta Kappa), an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.