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 formerly a Crown Prosecutor with the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and also served as an adjudicator with the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal. Jessica has also served as a member of the federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Yukon, as an international election observer in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. She is currently a national advisory board member for the Canadian Bar Association’s CBA-SIRD international initiatives partnership project on gender-based human rights impacts of the extractive industry in East Africa. Jessica holds an LL.B. (UVic), an M.A. in Human Security and Peacebuilding (Royal Roads University), a LL.M. in Constitutional Law (Osgoode), a graduate certificate in Justice System Administration (York University), and an intensive certificate in international human rights with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (University of Oslo). Jessica is fluent in French and Spanish.
Vida Nelson - Legal Counsel
Vida Nelson joined the Commission in May 2018. Prior to that she worked at a local law firm practicing in the areas of personal Injury, family Law and civil litigation. Vida is a born and raised Yukoner who holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University. Vida is an active member of the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon and is passionate about promoting diversity and access to justice. In her free time, Vida enjoys hiking with her dogs, travelling, trivia and playing board games.
Human Rights Officers
If you would like to contact a Human Rights Officer, please email email@example.com or call 867-667-6226.
Lisa Stewart – Administrative Assistant
Lisa joined the commission in June 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Arts from Quest University Canada. Lisa has studied cognitive science, psychology and neurology, and took particular interest in Social-Emotional Intelligence. During her degree, she gained experience supporting a team of research professionals in Dr. Oppenheimer’s cognition lab at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Originally from the Okanagan, Lisa enjoys waterskiing, snow skiing, hiking, biking, traveling and running.
STUDENTS AND INTERNS
Human Rights Interns
The Commission periodically hosts paid Human Rights Intern positions for students and recent graduates. Generally, Human Rights Interns are law students or recent law school graduates, but the Commission has also partnered with other organizations such as universities and non-governmental organizations to host positions for students and graduates in other disciplines. For example, in 2015-2016, the Commission partnered with Journalists For Human Rights, to provide two intern positions for emerging Indigenous journalists.
Human Rights Intern positions are periodically posted on our website. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about student positions.
Pro Bono Students Canada
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is the first pro bono organization in the country and a nationally respected program that is actively supported by the bar, judiciary and academy. PBSC was founded at the University of Toronto in 1996 and today operates in 22 law schools in Canada. Each year, PBSC harnesses the talent and drive of over 1500 law students across the country to provide legal services free of charge to low-income citizens and not-for-profit organizations.
Thank you to our student team for 2019-2020: Emily Aloe (U Ottawa), Katharine Cornish (U Ottawa), Janani Thillainathan (U Victoria), Micky Hoskin (U Victoria), Leila Nasr (UBC), Jannine Punzalan (UBC), Theresa James (McGill), Sandrine Royer (McGill).
McGill International Human Rights Internships
The Commission regularly hosts one or two students from the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) each summer. Thank you to Brittni Tee, our summer human rights intern in 2019-2020.
The International Human Rights Internships Program (IHRIP) is a fully credited course that allows students to earn six (6) credits toward the completion of the BCL/LLB degree. The Program interviews and selects law students for placements as interns with NGOS, courts, and public institutions for a period of 12 weeks over the summer. Partner organizations provide students with practical work experience in human rights investigation, monitoring, and reporting. The internships also provide exposure to the operation and implementation of human rights instruments and norms.