Executive staff members

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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.

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Jennifer Ankrett

(she/her/elle)
Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer

Prior to joining Legal Aid Ontario, Jennifer served as Executive Director, Strategy & Administration with York University. In this role, she was responsible for the strategic, operational and budgetary oversight for the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, including human resources, finance, information technology, facilities and various client services. As a proven change leader and project manager, Jennifer fostered collaborative progress with systems, structures and services across the organization that positively impacted students, staff and faculty. Jennifer has worked in additional senior leadership capacities with York University, the University of Toronto and Ontario Power Generation. Jennifer holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and CHRL and Prosci CMP designations. As an advocate for inclusion and access, Jennifer is also working towards her PhD in social justice education with the University of Toronto.

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Janet Budgell

(she/her/elle)
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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Randall Ellsworth

(he/him/il)
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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Aileen Page

(She/her/elle)
Vice president, Strategy and Public Affairs

Aileen joined LAO in 2012 as Senior Counsel, General Counsel Office and in 2019 became Director of Litigation. A skilled strategic leader and member of LAO’s executive team, Aileen has led  numerous complex files at LAO, most recently, the creation of the Legal Aid Services Rules and associated policy framework. Aileen has extensive experience in stakeholder and government relations, both from her time at LAO and as a Senior Policy Advisor to two Attorneys General of Ontario. From 1996 to 2009, Aileen was a trial lawyer in the U.S., first trying serious felony cases as an Assistant District Attorney and, later, trying complex civil cases in state and federal courts in a number of jurisdictions. Aileen also served as a mediator and as a magistrate judge, presiding over a wide range of criminal and civil matters, including bail and preliminary hearings.

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Rod Strain

(he/him/il)
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.

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Annik Wills

(she/her/elle)
Vice President of Operations

Annik Wills joined LAO in 2015 as Senior Counsel, Criminal Litigation and in 2018 became the Director General, Eastern Region where she was responsible for the oversight of legal aid services. She has contributed to several organizational initiatives, including the development of sustainable client service plans in response to the 2019 budget reductions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Annik has been an advocate for access to justice since her call to the bar in 2005 and has significant knowledge of LAO’s client services and the client experience. Prior to joining LAO, she practiced as a criminal defense counsel in both official languages, specializing in the defense of vulnerable clients before the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Annik worked as counsel for a commission of inquiry led by The Honorable Frank Iacobucci, acted as review counsel in a community legal clinic, and has been a part-time professor in the University of Ottawa’s Common Law Program teaching in the areas of evidence and criminal law since 2013.