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
- Commissioner Edith Bramwell
- Commissioner Dianna Scarth
- Commissioner Rachel Leck
- Commissioner Joanna Harrington
Pay Equity Commissioner
Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E.
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.
Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission
Geneviève Chabot was appointed Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in December 2017. A native of Québec City, she holds a B.A. in Psychology from Laval University, a combined LL.L./J.D. degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School. In 2009-2010, she clerked for the Honourable Justice Louis LeBel at the Supreme Court of Canada. She is called to the Law Society of Ontario, the New York Bar, and was a member of the Law Society of Yukon from 2013-2017.
Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Chabot practiced civil litigation, both in the private and public sector. As an associate in the litigation department of a prominent national law firm, she had the opportunity to work on complex commercial litigation and class action files. In 2013, she moved to the Yukon to join the Department of Justice Canada, where she developed an expertise in the areas of Aboriginal law, constitutional law, administrative law, and Crown liability. She also had the privilege to listen and learn from the experiences of local Aboriginal people through her participation in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls and the Independent Assessment Process for Former Students of Indian Residential Schools. These experiences have had a profound impact on how Ms. Chabot approaches her life and work.
In 2016, Ms. Chabot was appointed Deputy Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission. In that role, she contributed to the promotion of human rights in the Yukon and the resolution of complaints filed under the Yukon Human Rights Act. In order to further her knowledge in the area of human rights law, she completed a certificate in Human Rights Theory and Practice from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Very involved in her community, Ms. Chabot has held a number of leadership positions, including President of the Canadian Bar Association - Yukon Branch, member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Board of Directors, and member of the boards of the Yukon Legal Services Society and the Yukon Public Legal Education Association. In 2016, she was appointed to the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Yukon.
Ms. Chabot has taught courses on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Evidence at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. She has presented at legal education conferences and is the author of several publications in the areas of human rights, constitutional law, and private international law.
Edith Bramwell has practiced, taught, written and researched in the fields of labour law, human rights and administrative law since 1990, following the completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelors of Laws degree from the University of Western Ontario. She has provided legal advice and representation in most Canadian labour jurisdictions, on diverse issues including discrimination, accommodation, pay equity, contract interpretation, labour negotiation and unfair labour practices. She has devoted her career to improving peoples’ working lives and to promoting workplaces where everyone is valued and respected. Ms. Bramwell was appointed to the Commission in 2019.
Following her judicial clerkship at the Federal Court of Appeal, Ms. Bramwell served for five years as a legal member of the Ontario Review Board (then the Ontario Criminal Code Review Board). Ms. Bramwell’s commitment to the complex concerns of administrative tribunals, and to the communities and individuals which they serve, has been enhanced through her years on a range of quasi-judicial consultation committees.
After more than two decades of labour law advocacy, including pioneering work in improved access to justice through alternative dispute resolution, Ms. Bramwell has assumed several managerial roles, first leading a large arbitral litigation section, and most recently directing the Negations and Programs Branch of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Canada’s largest federal public sector trade union.
Ms. Bramwell is currently completing a Master of Laws at York University, with a specialization in dispute resolution. In her private life, Ms. Bramwell has served on the boards of several organizations which promote social justice, co-operative housing, equity and the arts, bringing a valuable, and often overlooked perspective as a black woman. Ms. Bramwell is a member of the Law Society of Ontario.
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.
Ms. Rachel Leck was appointed part-time Commissioner to the Canadian Human Rights Commission in September 2018.
Ms. Leck was born in Timmins, Ontario, and grew up in Midland, Ontario. She began her legal career in Southern Georgian Bay, before relocating to Ottawa, and has represented clients all across Ontario. She has experience at all levels of court in Ontario.
Her specific areas of expertise include employment law, human rights law, and insurance law. She also has experience in family and child protection law. She appears in court for civil litigation matters on a regular basis. Ms. Leck’s litigation practice focuses on early assessment and resolution of matters though negotiation and mediation. She is currently a civil litigator at McCague Borlack LLP’s Ottawa office
For the last 20 years, Ms. Leck has volunteered on various boards in Toronto, Simcoe County, and Ottawa. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Youville Centre and the Orchestre des jeunes de l’Ontario français. She is also deeply committed to the development of a diverse and ethically robust legal profession. To that end, Ms. Leck speaks annually to first year students at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and mentors a number of law students and articling candidates, both formally and informally.
Ms. Leck obtained her J.D. from the University of Ottawa, and an honours degree in media studies and journalism from the University of Guelph-Humber. Called to the bar of Ontario in 2010, Ms. Leck is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the County of Carleton Law Association.
Joanna Harrington is a published and award-winning scholar who has served as a law professor for almost 20 years. She has taught at the University of Nottingham, Western University and the University of Alberta, where she currently serves as Full Professor with the Faculty of Law. She has taught law all over the world as an invited professor at institutions in Australia, China, Japan, Puerto Rico and Suriname.
Her teaching and research activities focus on topics at the intersection of constitutional law and international law, with her published work examining matters of foreign relations law, the law of international organizations, the interplay between national bills of rights and international human rights law, and issues of international and transnational criminal law.
Dr. Harrington has also worked as an adviser on international human rights law, serving a two-year term as the Scholar-in-Residence with the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada). She also participated in the negotiation of new international instruments at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and served in New York as a member of Canada’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.
From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Harrington served as an Associate Dean at the University of Alberta with cross-disciplinary responsibilities for the quality and standards of graduate education. At a university with over 7000 graduate students, she gained extensive experience in collaborative decision-making, formal and informal dispute resolution, and university policy development to meet the needs of graduate students.
Dr. Harrington received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Prize for Academic Excellence in 2018. She has also worked as a consultant with international and national institutions, participated in outreach programs with NGOs, and contributed to training programs in international law for judges, diplomats and military officers.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria, an Academy of European Law diploma in human rights law from the European University Institute in Italy, and a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Harrington was appointed a part-time Commissioner at the Canadian Human Rights Commission in November 2018.
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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