Board of Directors

Lise Gotell, Chair (Edmonton, AB)

Lise Gotell is Professor and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta.  She completed her PhD 1993 in Political Science at York University (1993) and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Osgoode Hall Law School (1992-1994).  Her research expertise is in the area of gender and law she has published widely on such topics as equality litigation, constitutional jurisprudence, obscenity law and sexual assault.  She is a co-author of Bad Attitude/s on Trial: Feminism, Pornography and the Butler Decision (1997) and a co-editor (together with Barbara Crow) of Open Boundaries: A Canadian Women’s Studies Reader (2009).  She has won many teaching awards and is committed to community-engaged learning.  Lise teaches a unique Women’s and Gender Studies course entitled “Feminism and Sexual Assault” in which students focus on rethinking prevention through working with Edmonton community agencies. Her current research program focuses on the legal standard of consent in Canadian law and on new forms of antiviolence activism in a context of neoliberalism. Lise is committed to policy and community work that contributes to the prevention of sexual violence.  Her research has been cited in law reform initiatives in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland.  She is a member of Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton, a community-police-academic collaboration that uses social marketing to educate about consent and to change attitudes that contribute to sexual assault.

Silvia Yau, Treasurer (Markham, ON)

Silvia Yau is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) (2014) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) (2004). She has over 25 years of experience in controllership, accounting, financial planning and reporting with a focus in retirement plans, group insurance and investment administration. She is currently the accountant of Ontario’s largest union. Prior to this role, Silvia served as a controller of a TSX-listed Canadian retailer and a not-for-profit insurance company. Silvia’s Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science helped her succeed in various system conversion projects. As LEAF Treasurer, Silvia is the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee as well as a member of the Executive Committee.

Susan B. Boyd (Vancouver, BC)

Susan B. Boyd is Professor Emerita at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she held the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies from 1992-2015. She is also a Visiting Professorial Fellow with the Legal Intersections Research Centre at the University of Wollongong in Australia, where she presented “W(h)ither Legal Feminism?” In March 2017. Professor Boyd researches and publishes on feminist legal theory, and gender and sexuality issues in the fields of family law, especially child custody and parenthood law. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters, and several book length projects. Her edited collection Challenging the Public/Private Divide: Feminism, Law, and Public Policy was published in 1997. Her second co-edited annotated bibliography, Canadian Feminist Literature on Law: An Annotated Bibliography, appeared in 1999. In 2007, she co-edited Reaction and Resistance: Feminism, Law, and Social Change and Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship and Legal Activism. The collection Law and Families appeared in 2006 (with H Rhoades). Her book Child Custody, Law, and Women’s Work was published in 2003. Her latest co-authored book (2015) is Autonomous Motherhood? A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint, which addresses legal parenthood and the possibilities for “autonomous”motherhood. Professor Boyd is a long-standing member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. She recently joined the Board of LEAF and co-chairs LEAF’s Legal Practice Committee. In 2012, Professor Boyd was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of her international reputation as a leading socio-legal scholar who has made exceptional contributions to family law and feminist legal studies.

Michelle Bullas (Calgary, AB)

Michelle Bullas is lawyer working in private practice as a sole practitioner. Her focus is in Canadian taxation law, and has practiced with a number of Calgary and Halifax law firms. Her past governance roles include being a member of the YWCA Halifax Board of Directors, former member of the YWCA Board of Canada, including 6 years on the executive and she remains on the Governance Committee with that organization. Her board expertise is in governance, constitution and by-laws. Michelle is currently the chair of LEAF’s Governance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. She has two school-aged children and enjoys running, baking and reading, when she has a free moment.

Jane Cooney (Toronto, ON)

Jane Cooney is a retired businesswoman, who founded Books for Business; former Executive Director of the Canadian Library Association and former Director of Information Resources at CIBC. She also taught Information Studies at the University of Toronto. She has extensive board experience, including the Canadian Booksellers Association, Goodwill Toronto, Ontario Retail Sector Advisory Board, and the Writers Trust of Canada. Currently she is on the jury of the National Business Book Award and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.  Jane chairs LEAF’s Fund Development Committee, as well as sitting on our Finance and Audit Committee.

Donna Dasko (Toronto, ON)

Donna Dasko is currently Fellow, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto, and teaches in the Master’s program. She is one of this country’s best known pollsters. During her career as Senior Vice-President of Environics Research Group, she played a crucial role in building the firm into one of Canada’s leading research organizations. She is co-founder and Past National Chair of Equal Voice, a national non-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to public office in Canada. In December 2015 she founded the Campaign for an Equal Senate for Canada, pressing for a gender-equal Senate.  She has served as president of St. Stephen’s Community House, director of the United Way of Greater Toronto, director of the Canadian Youth Foundation, and Governor of the Canadian Unity Council. She is a member of the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Social Conditions and provides ongoing advice on the Canadian census and all of its social surveys.

Donna holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Toronto. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, and lives in Toronto.

Dee Dooley (Halifax, NS)

Dee Dooley is a feminist socio-legal researcher and community development worker. She is currently the Regional Capacity Coordinator at Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, where she works with organizations, service providers, and governments to develop trauma informed responses, policy, and address systemic advocacy issues related to supporting survivors of sexualized violence. Dee has over ten years of experience with crime prevention and leadership development programs for women, youth, and LGBTQ populations who have experienced violence. She holds degrees in sociology, gender studies, and criminology where her research focused on the criminalization of women survivors of intimate partner violence. Dee is passionate about social justice, advocacy, and supporting young feminists to become changemakers in their communities. In 2015, Dee was a recipient of the Governor Generals Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

Elaine Harris (Toronto, ON)

Elaine Harris is a retired lawyer who practised law for over twenty-five years as a partner in a small firm in downtown Toronto specializing in commercial real estate and finance for both institutional and private clients. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (B.A. in French) and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Elaine has always been an active volunteer in the community and education areas. She sat on the boards of The Leo Baeck Day School and Jessie’s, the June Callwood Centre for Young Women for several years and was president of both organizations for two years. For the past six years she has been involved in a research project at the Baycrest Geriatric Centre in Toronto studying the links between volunteering and healthy aging. In 2013 Elaine received the Volunteer Service Award from the Government of Ontario. She is a fervent advocate for lifelong learning and is looking forward to her new role at LEAF.

Sandra Nishikawa (Toronto, ON)

Sandra Nishikawa is Counsel at the Crown Law Office – Civil of the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she litigates a wide range of commercial, administrative and public law cases. Before joining MAG, Sandra was counsel in the Business and Regulatory Law Division of the Department of Justice for nine years and a litigation associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York for four years. Sandra has extensive litigation experience including commercial, employment, human rights, administrative law and Charter cases. Sandra is a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, where she is Vice-chair of the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee, as well as a member of the Professional Development & Competence and Awards Committees. Previously, Sandra was Chair of the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society and a director of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. Sandra has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Toronto, LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from McGill University and completed an LL.M. at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 2008. Sandra was called to the bars of Ontario and New York in 1999. Sandra speaks French and Japanese.

Elizabeth Shilton (Toronto, ON)

Elizabeth Shilton is a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace at Queen’s University and an Adjunct Professor at Queen’s Law.  Prior to returning to school to complete her doctorate in law, she was the long-time managing partner of the Toronto law firm of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntrye & Cornish, where she practiced labour/employment and equality law. While in practice, she represented LEAF and other equality-seeking organizations before the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of cases.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s she served as a board member of both LEAF and the LEAF Foundation, and twice co-chaired LEAF’s National Legal Committee. In 2010, she was among the “lawyers who have made a difference” honoured by LEAF as part of its 25th Anniversary celebrations.

Pamela Sloan (Montréal, QC)

Pamela Sloan is Adjunct Professor of Management and Co-director of “e3 Hub: Expertise in Energy and Environment”, a business-academic partnership at HEC Montréal. She teaches course in leadership, management and sustainability in the MBA, executive development and international programs. Her Ph.D. from HEC Montréal specialized in corporate strategy. She holds an M.A. in Economics from Cambridge University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Pamela Sloan gained extensive practical experience as an executive and consultant. She is a former Vice-President of The Toronto Stock Exchange, and founder of an economics and management consulting company with corporate and government clients in Canada, the United States and Australia. Her research interests focus on relations between corporations and their stakeholders, and on corporate sustainability practices. She has a particular expertise relations between corporations and indigenous peoples.