Executive staff members

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David Field

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.

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Janet Budgell

Vice president, General Counsel and Compliance

Janet has worked at Legal Aid Ontario for over 20 years, developing her skills in a number of roles including staff lawyer with the Quality Assurance program, team lead of the Clinic Services Office, regional business manager of Central and Eastern Region and vice president of Southwest Region and Specialty Clinics. Before joining the organization she worked as a staff lawyer at the ARCH Disability Law Centre. She studied at Princeton University and earned her LLB at Queens University.

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David McKillop

Vice president, Strategy and Public Affairs

David has been at Legal Aid Ontario for fifteen years. Prior to his role as vice president of Strategy and Public Affairs he served as director of policy from 2004 to 2007. Before joining LAO David was manager of Professional Regulation at the Law Society of Upper Canada (now the Law Society of Ontario) and manager of Employee Relations at Extendicare Canada Inc., Canada’s largest operator of nursing homes. He attended Wilfrid Laurier University and received his LL.B. from Queen’s University.

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Randall Ellsworth

Vice president, Regional Services

Randall joined Legal Aid Ontario in 1990 as a lawyer in the Clinic Resource Office, and since then has held multiple roles within the organization including director of the Clinic Services Office, area director of the Toronto Area Office and vice president of Northern, Central & Eastern regions. Before joining LAO, he articled at the Crown Law Office and was a clerk with the Ontario High Court of Justice. He studied history at McGill University and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School. He also earned degrees from Ryerson University and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Rod Strain

Vice President, Clinic Law Services

Rod has spent most of his career at Legal Aid Ontario, serving in a variety of roles over the past 27 years. As manager of Business Analysis, he helped develop detailed business cases to secure funding in support of the delivery of legal aid services across the province. During his tenure as director of Policy, he worked on LAO’s vulnerable client strategies and led the restructuring of the board advisory committees to engage external stakeholders in providing expert advice to LAO’s board of directors. He was director of Business Intelligence and Statistics from 2012 to 2016 and served as acting vice president of Strategic Planning and Compliance from 2016 to 2018, establishing enterprise risk management processes and building relationships with LAO’s external partners.