Board of Directors

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Steve Pengelly

(he/him/il)
Board Chair: April 2022 – present

Steve Pengelly has extensive experience advising government decision-makers and both not-for-profit and private sector organizations on everything from policy-making to governance to operations.

Steve served as executive director and counsel at the Ontario Bar Association for more than a decade and more recently as Interim CEO of the Canadian Bar Association. He has also served as chief of staff to both the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier.

Additionally, Steve has served as chair of the Kingston Police Services Board and as a board member of the Greater Napanee Police Services Board.

Steve has an Honours B.A. from York University and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Queen’s University.

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Bryn Gray

(he/him/il)
January 2021 – January 2023

Bryn Gray is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault, where he specializes in corporate/commercial disputes and Aboriginal law. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada as well as administrative tribunals. He has particular expertise in Aboriginal law and regularly advises clients on relationship building, consultation and negotiating agreements with Indigenous groups. He is a member of McCarthy’s Tétrault’s Pro Bono Committee and the Ontario regional lead for its Pride Action Group.

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Chris Uwagboe

(he/him/il)
April 2021 – April 2023

Chris Uwagboe runs his own law firm in London, Ontario, where he practices criminal defence, real estate, immigration and small claims law. Prior to starting his own practice, Chris worked as a prosecutor with the Crown Attorney’s office in London.

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Deborah Moriah

(she/her/elle)
January 2021 – January 2023

Deborah Moriah is a Toronto-area paralegal and one of the founding members and directors of the Ontario Association of Black Paralegals (OABP). She was licensed by the Law Society of Ontario in 2016 and opened her practice in 2018. She has worked in several areas of law including immigration, small claims, social justice tribunals (human rights, social benefits and criminal injuries compensation). She holds a degree in professional writing and communications studies from York University.

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Jennifer Gold

(she/her/elle)
December 2020 – December 2022

Jennifer Gold is a partner of Wood Gold LLP and practices family law, mediation and wills.

She graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English and Psychology and holds an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the bar in 2002. Ms. Gold serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario and is a member of the Peel Law Association. She formerly served on the board of directors for North York Women’s Shelter.

Ms. Gold is a mentor to other lawyers in the family law bar, and an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Lexpert Zenith Awards celebrating the advancement of women in the legal profession.

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John Callaghan

(he/him/il)
January 2021 – January 2023

John Callaghan is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office where he practices civil and commercial litigation and regulatory offence work. For eight years, John was a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, the governing body of lawyers in Ontario. In his capacity as a Bencher, John adjudicated professional misconduct allegations against lawyers and was chair of Government Relations for many years. He continues to serve as a member of the Civil Rules Committee in Ontario, which is responsible for drafting and revising the rules of civil procedure for the province of Ontario.

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Judy Mintz

(she/her/elle)
March 2020 – March 2023

Judy Mintz was the founding Executive Director of Dundas Community Services in Hamilton. The agency focuses on developing and providing community health and social services. She has served as a member of the Government of Canada’s National Council of Welfare, a part time commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a public member of the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Through her consulting practice she supported regulatory organizations, defence and pharmaceutical businesses and hospitals. Community involvement included participating as a Member of the Board of Directors, United Way, Burlington & Greater Hamilton; Pubic Representative, Courts of Justice, Community Resource Committee; President, Association of Community Information Centers in Ontario; Chair of the Community Advisory Committee, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University.

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Julia Bailey

(she/her/elle)
April 2021 – April 2023

Julia Bailey is an Orillia-based lawyer, practicing all areas of family law. Julia worked as duty counsel in the Superior Court of Justice, Family Division, a panel lawyer for victims of domestic violence and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. She is currently a panel member for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, Personal Rights Division.

Until recently, Julia was director and past chair of Community Legal Clinic Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes and of Seven South Street, an addictions treatment centre in Orillia. Julia is a member of the Simcoe County Law Association and the Simcoe County Family Law Lawyers Association.

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Peter Johnson

(he/him/il)
January 2021 – January 2023

Peter Johnson is a former immigration lawyer who practised with Rekai LLP. He has also worked as a government lawyer as senior counsel with the Ontario Realty Corporation and as policy analyst for Management Board of Cabinet. He lectures on immigration law for the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario.

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David Field

(he/him/il)
President and CEO

David has served as Legal Aid Ontario’s president and CEO since 2016 and prior to that was vice president of Strategic Planning and Compliance. He has extensive experience working within the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), previously serving as director of Business and Fiscal Planning branch, Corporate Services Management division and manager of program support, Family Justice division. Prior to that he worked as a senior analyst in the Social and Justice branch at the Management Board Secretariat. David studied at St. Jerome’s University and completed an MBA at Schulich School of Business, York University.