Executive Officer

Posted on:
May 21, 2024

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the largest and one of the most diverse school boards in Canada. TDSB serves approximately 225,000 students in nearly 600 schools throughout Toronto, and more than 100,000 life-long learners in its Adult and Continuing Education programs. TDSB’s mission is driven by its new multiyear strategic plan “Inspiring Minds and Shaping Futures,” led by 43,000 dedicated staff serving all communities across Toronto.  

Recently recognized by Forbes as one of Canada’s Best Employers for Diversity 2023, TDSB seeks executive leaders who exemplify excellence, creativity, and a strong commitment to promoting equity, anti-oppression and human rights.

Job Description – Executive Officer, Legal Services

Reporting to the Associate Director of Education, Organizational Transformation, Accountability, and Legal, the Executive Officer, Legal Services is a key member of the executive team and works closely with academic and business leaders in a wide range of matters. The Executive Officer will lead a small, award-winning legal services team providing strategic legal advisory services to senior staff and the Board of Trustees. The Executive Office will act as General Counsel to TDSB on a wide range of legal matters, demonstrating keen political acumen, strong analytical skills, and capacity for strategic thinking and creative problem-solving.  

As the ideal candidate, you will be an outstanding communicator with executive-level leadership experience in a large K-12 educational or comparable public-sector institution (or a similarly complex organization). You will be adept at motivating others, resolving challenging issues, and implementing difficult decisions in an ambiguous and complex environment. You are skillful at using your strong strategic legal and executive leadership to promote public accountability, confidence, and transparency.

You must also demonstrate a proven track record of developing and implementing strategies to promote a culture of equity and human rights within organizations.  

Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities

  • Support TDSB’s policies and operations by ensuring senior management’s access to legislative and legal expertise necessary for making well-informed decisions that align with the strategic objectives of the Board. 
  • Lead, manage and supervise the legal services function, including lawyers and staff, across different practice areas including civil litigation, commercial law, labour and employment law, human rights law and public/administrative law.  
  • Oversee the operations of the FOI and Privacy Office by working closely with the FOI Coordinator to manage requests and provide advisory services on privacy laws and best practices.
  • Provide legal advice and/or a legal perspective on various matters as a member of the Executive Team, with an emphasis on education, human rights law and school board governance.
  • Provide strategic legal advice to senior leaders (Principals, Superintendents of Education, Senior Managers).
  • Offer counsel on issues pertaining to public sector transparency, accountability, and governance.
  • Strategically advise the governance team at TDSB and review/develop governance policies.
  • Foster relationships, as the legal services representative, across TDSB.

Education and Professional Skills/Knowledge

  • LL.B. or J.D. degree (or equivalent).
  • Good standing with a Canadian Law Society.
  • 10+ years of practice experience, with significant exposure to public/administrative, K-12 education and/or human rights law (other areas such as labour and employment law, privacy law and commercial law are considered an asset). 
  • Executive and strategic leadership experience in the public sector.
  • Strong commitment to equity, anti-oppression and human rights, and demonstrated experience in designing/implementing related initiatives and programming.
  • Persuasive, confident and collaborative with exemplary communication skills and a relationship-forward approach to leadership.
  • Successful track record of providing guidance and leadership when dealing with controversial and complex issues.
  • Strong familiarity with the Education Act, as well as a capability to interpret and apply it in a variety of circumstances.
  • Innovative, adaptive and collaborative, with demonstrated skills to lead a high-performing team in a large, complex organization.
  • Accustomed to working in an environment of high accountability and public visibility.
  • Operates with a strong sense of diplomacy, integrity and political acuity.  
  • Demonstrates a proactive and results-driven approach, consistently seeking innovative strategies to address challenges and achieve objectives

TDSB adheres to equitable hiring and employment practices. The organization strives to meet the accommodation needs of persons with disabilities. Applicants are encouraged to make their needs for accommodation known in advance during the application process.

This is an exclusive search.

The Counsel Network, a Caldwell company is committed to building a diverse legal community through our inclusive business and recruitment practices. We value diversity of experience, expertise, and background, and strive to eliminate barriers historically encountered by marginalized groups. We recognize that an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce benefits and enriches both the legal profession and the greater community.

For more information, contact:  

Meaghan Loughry, Consultant 



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