People’s Law School is governed by a dedicated team of experienced professionals. Our Board of Directors keep us focused on the organization's vision and strategy, and provide oversight on our finances and governance.
The People's Law School Board of Directors meets at least eight times annually and oversees an Annual General Meeting of members of the society, typically held in June every year.
Board of Directors for 2017/18
Hassan El Masri, Board Chair
Hassan El Masri is a notary public practicing in Vancouver with W. Masri Notary Corporation, with a focus on real estate transactions, mortgages, and estate planning. He holds a Masters of Arts in Applied Legal Studies (M.A.A.L.S) from Simon Fraser University. Hassan has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2013, and is currently Chair of the Board.
Mara Tessier, Board Vice Chair
Mara Tessier is counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, British Columbia Regional Office. Her practice areas include civil litigation and Indigenous law. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria Law School and was called to the Bar in 2006. Mara has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2016 and became Vice Chair in 2017.
Guy Belanger, Board Treasurer
Guy Belanger is an accountant, recently retired from a career as an auditor with Canada Revenue Agency/Agence du Revenu du Canada. He previously worked for the Consumer Consumer Taxation Branch of the province of British Columbia and for a publicly listed company specializing in the manufacture and design of consumer electronics. Guy is currently Board Treasurer.
Dean Tate, Board Secretary
Dean Tate is a lawyer with Somers Poulin Hall, where he practices family law. He is a graduate of University of Alberta Law School and was called to the Bar in 1994. He has been a contributor to Continuing Legal Education Society of BC publications and programs, a Director of the Richmond Jewish Day School, and a volunteer with the Volunteer Housing Registry. Dean is currently Board Secretary.
Grant Christoff, Board Member
Grant Christof is a lawyer working with the First Nations Health Authority and with his community, Saulteau First Nations. From 2009 to 2015, he was the Director of the Aboriginal Law Section at the Department of Justice, where he was accountable for all litigation and advisory services within the BC region. He previously worked as senior counsel at the Department of Justice, as associate counsel of the Indian Claims Commission, and as a sole practitioner in Vancouver. He is a graduate of University of Victoria Law School, an adjunct professor at UVic Law School, and presenter at events hosted by Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) and the Canadian Bar Association. Grant has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2015.
Madam Justice Kate Ker, Board Member
Madam Justice Ker is a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, based in New Westminster. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Law School, and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1988 and in British Columbia in 1989. For the first 10 years of practise Justice Ker was a criminal defence lawyer specializing in appellate practice. In 1997 she joined the office of Crown Counsel and was appellate counsel for the Attorney General of BC until her appointment to the Supreme Court of BC in 2008. She is the former chair of the Canadian Bar Association's National Criminal Law Section, and is the current chair of the BC Supreme Court's Criminal Law Committee. Madam Justice Ker has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2015.
Amandeep Sanghera, Board Member
Aman Sanghera is a lawyer with Sanghera Sandhar Law Group in Surrey, where his preferred areas of practice are personal injury and criminal law. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Law School, and was called to the Bar in 1989. He has presented legal education seminars and can be heard regularly on local radio call-in shows. He is a past Member of both the BC Commercial Appeals Commission and the BC Liquor Appeal Board. Aman has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2007.
Cindy Switzer, Board Member
Cindy Switzer is a lawyer at Fasken Martineau in the Labour, Employment & Human Rights Group. Cindy’s practice is focused on the representation of management in workplace-related matters, as well as business immigration. Prior to joining Fasken Martineau, Cindy was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Labour & Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department. Her community activities include volunteering with the Mental Health Program of Access Pro Bono, participating on the Law Reform Committee of West Coast LEAF, and serving as a pro bono arbitrator with the Association of Arbitrators, Inc. Cindy has been a Board member of People’s Law School since 2016.
Vicki Van As, Board Member
Vicki Van As is a notary public in Delta at Sterling Notary Public. Originally from South Africa, Vicki and her husband moved to Canada in 1999 and now call Ladner their home. Vicki graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from the Edinburgh School of Business in 2008 and a Master of Arts, Applied Legal Studies degree from Simon Fraser University in 2016. She was presented with the Leadership Award from the Society of Notaries Public at her graduating ceremony. Vicki's diverse business background spans multiple industries and functions, including advertising, marketing, sales, consulting and project management. Vicki joined the Board of People’s Law School in 2017.