Commission staff carries out the day-to-day work involved in human rights promotion, education, and the resolution of discrimination complaints.
Jessica Lott Thompson: Director
Jessica joined the Commission in January 2015. She was appointed to the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Yukon in 2017, and is currently on the executive of the Yukon Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. Jessica is a former Federal Prosecutor with the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, as has served as an adjudicator with the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal. She has also worked for Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Aid and the Department of Justice in Nunavut and appeared as counsel before the Nunavut Mental Health Review Board. In 2014, Jessica served as an international election observer in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. In 2002, she held a judicial clerkship with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Jessica holds an LL.B. (UVic), an M.A. in Human Security and Peacebuilding (Royal Roads University), a LL.M. in Constitutional Law (Osgoode), and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Justice System Administration (York University). Jessica is fluent in French and Spanish, and is an Inuktitut learner.
Colleen Harrington: Legal Counsel
Colleen joined the Commission in September 2009. She has a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan, with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies and an LL.B from the University of New Brunswick. She completed an international human rights internship with the League of Kenya Women Voters in Nairobi, then articled and worked as a staff lawyer at a community legal aid clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. She later worked as a staff lawyer and Acting Executive Director of the Legal Services Board of Nunavut. In September 2008 she took a position with the Yukon Legal Services Society at the Neighbourhood Law Centre where she practiced criminal, family and poverty law.
Public Education Coordinator – Currently vacant
This position is not yet posted for competition. Please check back regularly for updates.
Emmanuel Kofi Owusu: Human Rights Officer
Emmanuel joined the Commission in July 2017. He has an LL.B from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana and an LL.M from the University of Calgary. He is also an alumnus of the Fordham Law Summer Human Rights Program. Prior to joining the Commission, Emmanuel was an instructor in the Law and Society Program at the University of Calgary where he taught courses on Liberalism and Socio-Legal Issues in Modern Liberal Societies. He also worked as an instructor at Athabasca University where his teaching focused on Charter Rights and Justice.
Emmanuel is passionate about Human Rights and Justice and has experience working and volunteering with several human rights and justice initiatives both in Canada and abroad. He previously worked with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana, and served as a Legal Advisor to the Dean of Students’ Office at KNUST. Emmanuel has a high community spirit and was actively involved in community projects with the Calgary Youth Justice Society and Pro Bono Law Alberta before moving to Whitehorse.
Ellen Bolger: Human Rights Officer
Ellen Bolger joined the Commission in July 2017. The same year, she graduated with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law. During her studies, she represented her College at the 2017 Laskin Moot in administrative and constitutional law and at the 2016 National Restorative Justice Symposium. Prior to that, she graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in both World Religions and Political Science. Before studying law she worked as a ski instructor and led backpacking and horseback riding trips for children. Her biggest area of interest is the intersection between legal research and social science.
Lynn Pigage: Office Administrator
Lynn has been with the Commission since 1998. She is the person in the office who makes sure things are running smoothly and assists all staff with a variety of tasks.
Brandon Macleod: Articled Student
Brandon Macleod joined the Commission in September 2017. Brandon is from Vancouver and has a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from the University of British Columbia. He previously worked as a law student at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, where he pursued his interest in constitutional and public law. Brandon has a background in volunteering with various Indigenous community groups in the Vancouver area, where he became interested in furthering access to justice and the affirmation of human rights.