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 meets at least eight times annually and oversees an annual general meeting of members of the society.
Board of directors for 2022-23
Hassan El Masri
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 (MAALS) from Simon Fraser University. Hassan has been a board member of People’s Law School since 2013, and is currently board chair.
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 vice chair of the People's Law School board.
Cindy Switzer is a lawyer at Maynard Kischer Stojicevic. Cindy is an internationally experienced lawyer whose practice is focused on business and corporate immigration, citizenship law and related matters. She previously practised at Fasken in Vancouver and with the New York City Law Department. Her community activities include volunteering with Access Pro Bono and West Coast LEAF, and serving as a pro bono arbitrator with the Association of Arbitrators. Cindy has been a board member of People’s Law School since 2016 and currently holds the position of secretary.
Robert is a retired lawyer and accountant with over 25 years’ experience in capital market regulation, international development, and corporate compliance. From 1988-2005 he held various counsel, legal policy development and managerial positions with the BC Securities Commission. More recently (2011-2016) he was deputy director and secretary to the board of the Anguilla Financial Services Commission, Anguilla BWI. From this experience as board secretary, as well as his experience on volunteer boards, Robert brings to People's Law School his knowledge of corporate and NFP policy development and board governance. He currently holds the position of board treasurer.
Since 2004, Bernard has held senior management positions with the Government of British Columbia, most notably with the Ministries of Housing and Social Development, Children and Family Development, and Attorney General. At Court Services Branch, Bernard led initiatives to modernize the court system and improve access to justice for British Columbians. This experience has contributed to Bernard’s proficiency in establishing high-level strategies and leading large teams in successful implementations.
Mara Tessier is senior counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, British Columbia Regional Office. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria Law School. Her practice areas include civil litigation and Indigenous law. Mara has been a board member of People’s Law School since 2016.