Our People

The Commission operates across Canada with a staff of fewer than 200 employees.

Browse this section to learn about our senior officials and what they do:

Human Rights Commissioners

Accessibility Commissioner

Pay Equity Commissioner

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E.

Chief Commissioner

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E. was appointed as Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in March 2015, marking a new phase in a career defined by community involvement. Native of Mont-Joli, QC, she obtained her Bachelor’s of Law from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1988, and founded her own law firm located in Cowansville, QC in 1993.

Ms. Landry’s desire to contribute to the well-being of her community has guided her towards many leadership positions, including President of the Centre de santé et de services sociaux La Pommeraie and President of the local Chamber of Commerce. She has worked to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of her community, in particular by providing support to the United Way of Haute-Yamaska, as well as Au Diapason, a regional center for palliative care. Ms. Landry has also presided over the administrative body of the pediatric center “Main dans la main”, inspired by the works of Dr. Gilles Julien.

In 2005, the newspaper La Voix de l’Est presented Ms. Landry with the “Voix de l’Excellence” award, and in 2008 she received the Leadership award from the Association québécoise d’établissements de santé et de services sociaux. To recognize Ms. Landry’s important and long-standing contribution to the community, the City of Cowansville made her a city ambassador in October 2015, and presented her with the keys to the municipality. That same year, she was also named Personality of the Year by the community of Brome-Missisquoi.

In addition to her active law practice, Ms. Landry has held numerous positions of distinction, including bâtonnière of the Barreau de Bedford, member of the Barreau du Québec general council, and first President of the Disciplinary Tribunal in Federal Prison Institutions for the Quebec Region. In addition, Ms. Landry has served as member of both the Inquiry Committee for the Canadian Judicial Council, and the Review Committee of the Ordre des dentistes du Québec on recommendation by the Office des professions du Québec. From 1991 to 2001, Ms. Landry was member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

In recognition of her outstanding work, community outreach and engagement, Ms. Landry was awarded the distinction Avocat émérite from the Quebec Bar, in 2009. In September 2015 she received the Merit Award from the Barreau de Bedford for her leadership, her exceptional contribution to the community, her leadership in advocating for the recognition of regional institutions, as well as her career in defending public justice.

Always conscious of placing people at the heart of her actions, Ms. Landry, as Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, intends to continue protecting people in vulnerable circumstances by working with communities across Canada in a spirit of engagement and collaboration. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dianna Scarth

Commissioner

Dianna Scarth has spent the greater part of her career promoting human rights and addressing issues of discrimination and harassment. She resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts , her Master of Social Work, and her Bachelor of Laws degrees.

Ms. Scarth spent the early part of her career working as a probation officer, as a social worker in an adolescent treatment centre, and as a field instructor for social work students. Those experiences deepened her understanding and personal commitment to issues of human rights and social justice issues.

Ms. Scarth served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission from 1996 to 2012. It was a period of growth and change for the Commission,during which mediation options were expanded, a systemic approach to complaint resolutions was adopted and a number of new education programs for employers and youth were created under her direction. It was in this role as Executive Director for the Commission that Ms. Scarth received the Government of Manitoba Service Excellence Award for Leadership in 2008.

After leaving the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Ms. Scarth took on various other roles including Visiting Professor in the Global College and Human Rights and Diversity Officer at her alma mater, the University of Winnipeg.

In 2017, she was appointed a member of the Manitoba Accessibility Advisory Council which has the responsibility to make recommendations to the minister regarding the development of standards under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

Ms. Scarth has always remained involved in community roles, including most recently as board advisor for the Legal Help Centre from 2012-2017.

Ms. Scarth was appointed part-time Commissioner to the Canadian Human Rights Commission in July 2018.

Michael Gottheil

Commissioner, Accessibility

Michael Gottheil is Canada's first Accessibility Commissioner, appointed under the Accessible Canada Act.

Mr. Gottheil brings many years of leadership experience in the Administrative Justice sector, having previously served as Chief of Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and Executive Chair of both the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario and the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he also practiced labour, employment and human rights law for close to 20 years. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars, and has written widely on human rights, accessibility and inclusion, administrative law, institutional design and alternative models of dispute resolution.

Mr. Gottheil is a experienced adjudicator and mediator. He has contributed to the rich body of human rights and administrative law jurisprudence in Canada. He has also successfully resolved complex, multi-party matters in the private, public and broader public sectors. His various senior executive roles within the public sector has provided him with acute insights into the challenges and opportunities for creative resolutions of disputes involving important public policy issues.

Mr. Gottheil is committed to fostering collaboration between government, the private sector, community organizations and across civil society more broadly. He always seeks to find opportunities for practical, positive change across diverse interests. Mr. Gottheil understands that we all have both legal and civic responsibilities, as well as a moral obligation to make justice accessible and meaningful for those who need it most.

As a person with a disability, Mr. Gottheil has always been open to sharing his experiences, and to be inquisitive about other's differences, challenges and insights. He is a firm believer that by listening and hearing diverse perspectives, we all grow stronger, individually and as a community.

Karen Jensen

Commissioner, Pay Equity

Karen Jensen is an experienced lawyer who is widely recognized as an expert in human rights, labour and employment law. Having represented unions, employers and the Canadian Human Rights Commission in pay equity disputes at different points in her career, Ms. Jensen has developed a deep appreciation for all perspectives on this important issue. In addition, as a full-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal from 2005-2009, Ms. Jensen adjudicated and mediated human rights disputes, including pay equity matters, in both official languages.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Jensen was a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and was the National and Local (Ottawa) Chair of their Labour and Employment group. Previously, she was an assistant dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, where she taught dispute resolution.

Ms. Jensen is known for her collaborative and respectful approach to her work. She was recently elected by her peers to the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in recognition of the civility, collegiality, and professionalism she has demonstrated throughout her legal career.

Before her legal career, Ms. Jensen worked for six years with marginalized women and sexual abuse survivors in social service agencies in both Winnipeg and Toronto. She has been a volunteer and a member of the Board of Directors of a centre for the homeless and an agency supporting people with disabilities for many years.

Ms. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg, a Masters in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Laws from Western University. She is a member of the Law Society of Ontario.

Ms. Jensen is fluently trilingual in English, French and Spanish.

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