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Meet our team and board, the driving force behind AEL Advocacy's fight for a more compassionate and sustainable future

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Kira Berkeley, BFA, JD

Co-Director and Counsel

Kira is head of AEL Advocacy's animal law division. She also practices law at Scott Law Group, where she focuses on animal law, real estate, wills and estates, and franchise law.

 

Kira holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University in Toronto and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in June 2020. During her academic journey, Kira actively contributed as an executive member of uOttawa’s Animal Justice Association and interned in animal law at organizations including Animal Justice, Breder Law (Vancouver), and Gartner & Associates Animal Law (Toronto). Kira also served as an associate lawyer at OLLIP Professional Corporation, handling cases before the Trademarks Opposition Board, Federal Court, and Federal Court of Appeal. Her commitment to pro-bono work during this time helped those in need access justice. 

Outside of her work, Kira plays piano, holds a black-belt in Wado-Kai Karate, and is an active member of the Latin social dance community. While Kira’s diverse prior legal experience includes trademark and copyright law, as well as working as a real estate law clerk for 5 years, her true passion has always been in animal and environmental advocacy. 

 

Kira lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her rescue cat, Honey.

 

Credentials

  • Law Society of Ontario, 2021

  • Juris Doctor, University of Ottawa, 2020 (Cum Laude)

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, York University, 2017 (Summa Cum Laude)

  • Indigenous Canada Certificate, University of Alberta, 2021

Email: kira@aeladvocacy.ca

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Krystal-Anne Roussel, BA, JD

Co-Director and Counsel

Krystal is head of AEL Advocacy's environmental law division. She also holds the role of Research Associate in Animal Law at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.

 

Krystal has a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in June 2020. While completing her studies, Krystal took part in the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic and worked as a legal intern with East Coast Environmental Law, Animal Justice, and the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick. She completed her articles with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and subsequently served as a staff lawyer and water policy coordinator at CELA before starting AEL Advocacy.

Outside of her work, Krystal is an active human and animal rights advocate. She is a member of Lawyers for Climate Justice, a multi-disciplinary group of lawyers and law students from across Canada focused on advancing climate justice within the Canadian legal profession; and an advisor for The Canadian Law Review.

Krystal lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her partner, son, and two rescue cats, Simba and Bagheera.

 

Credentials

  • Law Society of Ontario, 2021

  • Juris Doctor, University of Ottawa, 2020 (Cum Laude)

  • Bachelor of Arts, St. Thomas University, 2016 (With Distinction)

  • Certificate in Humane Education & Advanced Animal Legal Issues, Thompson Rivers University, 2016

Email: krystal@aeladvocacy.ca

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Nives Ilic

Board Member

Nives is an intersectional feminist and believes in the interconnectedness of all people, animals and the environment. For more than 13 years, Nives has passionately championed animal and environmental rights.

 

Nives currently serves as the Program Coordinator for three initiatives at an emergency shelter dedicated to assisting people experiencing homelessness. With almost a decade of expertise in providing services to those facing addictions and mental health challenges, Nives offers a wealth of knowledge in policy development, program management, and dedicated service to vulnerable communities.

 

In addition to her role as a board member for AEL Advocacy, she is also the Co-Chair of an addictions treatment program serving women and gender-diverse people in Ottawa.

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Becky Carpenter

Board Member

Becky has worked primarily in the health care field throughout her career, focusing on patient care and health equity initiatives. She has worked in health policy roles with both the government of Ontario, and for non-profit organizations. She is also passionate about advancing One Health approaches, and the links between animal, human, and environmental health.

 

Becky holds Master’s degrees in public policy and archaeology. As a former Research Assistant, she completed research focusing on traditional Indigenous human-animal relations and how these relationships can underpin cultural reconciliation and revitalization initiatives. Outside of work, Becky enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering at the local humane society, and exploring and learning about new places.

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Michael Dobbin

Board Member

Michael practices as a lawyer at a general practice law firm in Ottawa, Ontario. Having been called to the bar of Ontario in 2021, his legal expertise spans a wide spectrum of areas, including civil litigation, human rights, municipal, corporate, commercial, and real estate law.

 

During law school Michael was a member of the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, a collaboration between Ecojustice, Canada's largest environmental law organization, and the University of Ottawa. Dedicated to community engagement, Michael also devoted two years to the Access to Justice Legal Clinic, addressing unmet civil legal needs. 

 

Michael recognizes the role the environment and animals play in maintaining ecosystem balance and the interconnectedness of all life. When not practicing law, Michael enjoys outdoor activities, including cycling, hiking, golfing, snowboarding, and contributing to the community.

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Our Team

Our Volunteers

​AEL Advocacy has a wonderful team of passionate volunteers working behind the scenes, including:

  • Russell Berkeley, BSc (Tech Support)

  • Joseph Kim, CPA, CA (Treasurer)

  • Tyler Hodgkinson (Director of Marketing)

  • Shannon Nickerson, BJourn (Photographer/Videographer)

  • Emma Peckham, BA (Social Media Coordinator; Communications)

  • Kirsten Marsh, JD (Lawyer)

AEL Advocacy is seeking volunteers for the role of: 

For more information on this role, please e-mail admin@aeladvocacy.ca

Your support makes our work possible.

Donate today to help us secure legal protections for animals and the environments where they live. 

Image by Marek Piwnicki
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