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Jennifer Oades was appointed Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada on January 31, 2018. She began her career with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in 1991 where she held numerous positions, including within community corrections, where she served as Parole Officer in Ottawa, as well as in National Headquarters. In 1996, Ms. Oades joined the then-Solicitor General of Canada (now Public Safety Canada) as Senior Policy Advisor. In her role, she worked on legislative initiatives pertaining to high-risk violent offenders and on the federal-provincial-territorial strategy responding to corrections population growth. After returning to CSC, Ms. Oades was selected to lead the establishment of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) and she served as the first Executive Director of the CPA for five years. During her tenure, she provided leadership in its formal establishment, developing policies, communications, and a program of work as well as managing a multi-national Board of Directors. She led the organization of the ICPA’s first five international conferences.
Upon her return to CSC, Ms. Oades continued her work within the policy and intergovernmental portfolios and served as the Director General of both the Strategic Policy and Intergovernmental Relations Branch and the Learning and Development Branch. She was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Women in January 2010. She received the President’s Award from the International Community Corrections Association, recognizing her leadership and dedication to advancing the awareness and effectiveness of community corrections for women. She brokered partnerships with community partners and other federal government departments to establish a number of social enterprises to promote employment opportunities for offenders and she established “Child Link” in order to enhance communications between incarcerated mothers and their children. She also worked in partnership with the Native Counselling Services of Alberta in their establishment of Buffalo Sage Wellness House — the first Corrections and Conditional Release Act sectional healing lodge for women offenders. Ms. Oades holds a BA. in Anthropology and Native Studies (now called Indigenous Studies) from Trent University.