LEAF names new executive director

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund has named Megan Stephens as its next executive director and general counsel.

LEAF names new executive director
Megan Stephens

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund has named Megan Stephens as its next executive director and general counsel.

Effective June 3, Stephens will lead LEAF in its mission to advance the equality rights of women and girls through litigation, law reform and public education using the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“I am honoured to assume the position of executive director and general counsel at LEAF,” said Stephens. “I have long admired the work done by LEAF in seeking meaningful social change for women and girls. I look forward to building on LEAF’s legacy and continuing to advocate for the substantive equality of all women and girls, including, in particular, those from marginalized communities whose voices too often go unheard. I am excited to work with the excellent staff team, experienced board and dedicated donors and volunteers as we continue to address systemic discrimination in Canada.”

Stephens has a master’s degree in sociology and law degrees from McGill and Columbia. She clerked first at the Ontario Court of Appeal and for former chief justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2003 and spent more than a decade as Crown counsel, with special expertise in appellate cases involving sex work, human trafficking and sexual assault. Since the fall of 2017, Stephens has been commission counsel to the public inquiry into the safety and security of residents in the long-term care home system.

LEAF also extended its gratitude to Dr Elizabeth Shilton who stepped into the role of interim executive director after Justice Shaun O’Brien was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in January.  

“Elizabeth’s wisdom and experience have been invaluable to all in the LEAF community during this period of transition,” the organization said in a statement.

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