Lawyers and Staff

John Lawford

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.


Tahira Dawood

Policy and Research Analyst

Tahira Dawood is a Policy and Research Analyst at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. 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). Prior to joining PIAC, she volunteered as a Research Analyst at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), where she worked full-time on projects concerning copyright law, consumer privacy, open data, open government 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.


Donna Brady

Office Administrator

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.


Pam Dheri

Articling Student 2019-20

Pam Dheri is articling at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She holds a J.D. from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law with a specialization in Law & Technology. During law school, Pam interned at the Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, worked with the RCMP to develop a draft encryption workaround policy for law enforcement agencies, and acted as a research assistant, investigating legal issues related to privacy and smart cities, AI and ethics, smart contracts, and facilitating access to justice through technology.  She was also a senior editor with Ottawa Law Review, a writing leader with the Legal Writing Academy, a mentor with the Women’s Legal  Mentorship Program, and a Dean’s Fellow. Pam holds a B.Sc. Hons. in Biochemistry and a M.Sc. in Bioethics.


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