Executive Director/General Counsel
John Lawford is Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) in Ottawa. John has been with PIAC since July 2003 and Executive Director and General Counsel since September 2012. Prior to coming to PIAC, John was a lawyer at a large national law firm doing medical-legal research. John has also been Research Director at a major Ottawa law firm. John was Special Projects Director and Webmaster for QUICKLAW Inc. from 1992 to 1999. He has an undergraduate degree in English and a Law degree from Queen’s University (1990).John is active in the areas of telecommunications, privacy and financial services from a consumer perspective.
Pam Dheri is our staff lawyer. She received her J.D. from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, specializing in Technology Law. Pam first joined PIAC as an articling student in 2019.
Donna Brady joined PIAC in the spring of 1992 as full-time office administrator. Her background is in Business Administration. Previous to joining PIAC, she worked as the Administrative Assistant for a City and Regional Councillor.
Articling Student 2020-21
Yuka Sai is articling at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She completed her J.D. at uOttawa, specializing in Law & Technology. Before that, she completed a B.Sc. in Life Sciences, then an M.Sc. in molecular medicine. During her M.Sc. and J.D., she volunteered with Let’s Talk Science, teaching STEM workshops to youth. In law school, Yuka also worked with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, advocating for affordable medicines. She interned for Michael Geist, researching for his blog series against Bell Coalition’s website blocking proposal. Yuka also interned for the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, assisting in research on the Mobile Wireless Review, and on federal and provincial privacy laws.
Articling Student 2020-21
Tahira Dawood is an articling student at PIAC. Prior to articling, she worked as a Policy and Research Analyst at PIAC. She holds a Masters (LL.M.) in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London (International programmes). Before joining PIAC, she volunteered as a Research Analyst at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and worked on projects concerning copyright law, privacy, and public policy. During her Masters, she interned and worked on a project with PIAC. She has practiced law abroad, focusing on contracts, corporate law, intellectual property rights, and aviation law.